Tegan and Sara Foundation
We're on a mission to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people!
I was so happy to see so many positive responses to the Make Change post earlier this year. It made me want to highlight Tegan and Sara Foundation! I wanted to do this special post honouring the amazing work Tegan and Sara Foundation does, the incredible board we have who helps to inform the work we are doing, and also highlight some of the people at Tegan and Sara Foundation hammering away to help it to grow.
Being that today is Giving Tuesday please consider donating to the Tegan and Sara Foundation to support the work everyone involved is doing to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
Since we launched the Tegan and Sara Foundation five years ago we have learned so much. We have met so many incredible volunteers and staff from so many amazing organizations, who work tirelessly to provide support to LGBTQ+ people in North America. We are so grateful to every single person who has donated, especially our monthly donors, who allow us to plan and strategize ahead of time. All it takes to help us out is $5/month. Sometimes people come up and tell me they are a monthly donor and then tell me they feel bad they can’t give more than $5 a month. I PROMISE YOU $5 goes a long way, so please consider signing up for a monthly donation if you have the funds!
Not to talk you out of being a paid subscriber of our Substack, but if I had to choose for you, I’d have you donate to the foundation.
This year we got our biggest one-time donation ever from Vans and were able to send over 100 LGBTQIA+ kids to LGBTQIA+ summer camps across North America. We want to thank Vans for their incredible generosity and support!!!
One of the programs we have spent the most time on the past couple of years is a program called Community Grants. With this new program, we are able to move money quickly to where it is most needed, reducing the application burden for grantees, accelerating the pace and volume of giving, partnering with other donors and increasing support and donations to many of our established relationships with LGBTQ+ community organizations.
Learn more about community grants!
I asked a few of our incredible board members to write a little about why they joined the Tegan and Sara Foundation board, and also had someone who works with Tegan and Sara Foundation share a little about their work with the Tegan and Sara Foundation. I hope you enjoy the post. I want to thank them very much for taking the time to write a little bit in their own words, and I thank all of you for listening and for your support of the Tegan and Sara Foundation. I hope you’re all doing well.
I'm proud to be part of the Tegan and Sara Foundation for so many reasons. I love the diversity of our board--everyone comes from very different backgrounds and have very different skill sets and expertise, and together it feels like we are a kind of super team! I love how proactive we are--so many organizations I have been involved with can't or don't act fast enough and time and time again, the Foundation has been able to jump in and offer timely support. I also love that our focus is so intersectional--we offer assistance to various marginalized groups within a marginalized community. Lastly, I love the opportunity to be part of Tegan and Sara's ongoing vision and legacy to make the world a better place for queer people.
Cicely Belle Blain
When I was a shy, badly-dressed 18-year-old, I saw Tegan and Sara perform at a concert in Ambleside Park in Vancouver and my world exploded. It was magical and inspiring and very gay. Everything I needed to be my true self, to live unapologetically, and find my place in the world. This was one of a few queer awakenings that were not only pivotal to my own explorations of gender and sexuality but also set me on my path to becoming an activist, speaker and writer. My only sadness was that I wished I was younger when I knew you could be out and proud and free. I joined the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation because I wanted to be part of creating a world where every queer, trans, non-binary, and/or Two Spirit person can experience this kind of liberation - regardless of their intersectional lived experiences. I am so lucky that queer icons like Tegan and Sara (plus all the other phenomenal board members and staff at TSF) came into my life when they did and want to ensure the wisdom, kindness, inspiration, financial support, resources and system-changing advocacy of TSF is made available to as many people as possible, for many generations to come. I always think of the quote "be the person you needed when you were younger" and TSF truly allows me to be that.
I joined the Tegan and Sara Foundation Board, because I was intrigued by the different approach they were taking to supporting the LGBTQ community. Instead of raising funds to create their own programming, they noticed the need for supporting the incredible grassroot organizations that already existed. Some of my favorite include Camp Brave Trails and The Magic City Acceptance Center. LGBTQ youth can attend a safe and inclusive camp experience through Camp Brave Trails and the Magic City Acceptance Center provides a welcoming space for LGBTQ people in Birmingham, Alabama. I've had the honor of working with these two and others through our Community Grant Program and can attest to how critical these organizations are to the individuals and communities that they serve. Now more than ever, we need to be using our resources and networks to support organizations that are providing a place of refuge and hope for LGBTQ people, especially youth. With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in many of the states where are Community Grantees are, it is necessary that we get funds to the places where our LGBTQ community needs us most.
I came to the Tegan and Sara Foundation almost four years ago as a queer woman with a love and passion for social justice. Now, having been a part of the organization for nearly half its existence, I’m so deeply proud of the impact we have made for LGBTQ+ people, and to be able say that I’m fulfilled and rewarded by this work every single day. As the program manager for TSF, I get to work hands-on with the incredible partners and communities that we support, and see lives being changed in real time. I’m so grateful to know that the work we do has a tangible impact on queer people, especially in times like these – and I can honestly say that I believe in what we do with my entire heart and soul. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!