Made for Flight is a Transgender youth and LGBTQ ally empowerment workshop series that incorporates transgender history, ally development, creative writing, and kite building to commemorate the lives of the Transgender individuals who have been murdered in the last year. Created and directed by genderqueer poet and teacher TC Tolbert, Made for Flight creates a space specifically for youth voice during the preparation for, and the implementation of, each Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20), culminating with a public display of hand-made kites and a handmade zine of youth poetry that celebrates the lives of murdered Transgender individuals.
If you would like to bring Made for Flight to your college campus, high school GSA, or youth group, please email TC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for taking the time to look over this website and be an ally to transfolks and this project. Just your interest and time give me hope that the violence against trans and genderqueer people (to only mention a few of the many oppressed groups we stand with in solidarity) will one day end.
This project began as I sat at the 2009 Transgender Day of Remembrance and listened as over 100 names were read and I looked around and saw transpeople and our fiercest allies re-traumatized. According to a 2011 Transgender Europe report, transgender people are murdered at a rate of one every other day. This means that over 150 transpeople are murdered every year globally. Approximately one transperson is murdered per month in the US alone. It is clear to me that the rhetoric of “tolerance” is not working. (And who wants to just be “tolerated” anyway?) Transgender and genderqueer people deserve to be supported, celebrated, and valued.
It is my hope that Made for Flight will encourage those of us with privilege (and there are many kinds of privilege in this world – white, straight, passing, male, the list goes on) to use that privilege to speak out, call out, and act out against transphobia and other forms of oppression. We cannot talk about transphobia and ignore the fact that the majority of those we commemorate on Transgender Day of Remembrance are transwomen of color. Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and transphobia are inherently inter-related and we must work in solidarity with one another to overcome them all.
I created Made for Flight with the goals of building awareness, community, and a sense of the power and history of transgender people despite the many forms of violence and oppression we experience. I wanted to focus on our resiliency, our ability to transform and transcend. I hope that you will join us in this endeavor.
From The Bone People by Keri Hulm:
They were nothing more than people by themselves.
Even paired, any pairing, they were nothing more than people by themselves.
But in a group, they formed the heart and muscle and mind of something
perilous and new. Something strange and growing and great.
Together, all together, they are the instruments of change.
Made for Flight receives gracious funding from the Kresge Arts in Tucson grant via Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Alliance Fund’s Queer Youth Initiative grant. Thank you both!
~ TC Tolbert, Made for Flight founder and director