Decreases in funding from both governmental agencies and other funders who support the needs of the LGBTQ community are cause for concern as Outfront Kalamazoo goes into 2018. Executive Director Jay Maddock said his social justice organization relies on grant funding, individual giving and successful fundraising events, meaning that any hit to the economy will affect all areas of the group’s funding.
“We know that when an administration doesn’t include LGBTQ community needs into their consideration for budgets, there are significantly less funds available to community centers like ours. Furthermore, economic dips impact not only the marginalized communities, meaning the demands of our agency increases while the funds supporting our work decrease. Our work is focused on advocating for LGBTQ rights, supporting individuals and families, and building inclusive and safe community for LGBTQ folks. The current administration has shown time and time again that they are no friend to the LGBTQ community. We’ve seen an increase in harassment and discrimination against LGBTQ families and individuals, and an increase in fear of the future since so much is unknown. … More trans people have been murdered in 2017 than in 2016, with trans women of color being disproportionately targeted. I am kept awake thinking how we can protect trans people and LGBTQ people of color from racism, transphobia, misogyny and homophobia. Our organization remains committed to our mission and vision and we are prepared to continuing fighting for equality for LGBTQ people in any political environment we find ourselves in.”