A Letter from the Co-executive Directors

Dear Friends, Partners, and Community Members,

What a year it has been! If you had asked us a year ago if we would be where we are today, we would never have believed it. This past year has been one of incredible growth, hardship, joy, and celebration. We have watched TransCare+ evolve into something more impactful than we ever imagined. As we contemplated what to share in this letter, we found ourselves uncertain about where to begin and where to end. Instead of attempting to outline all of the pivotal moments from the past year, we decided to focus on what we’ve learned.

Although TransCare+ has been around since 2019, this fiscal year has been a year of many firsts. It was our first time receiving a large grant, hiring staff, offering programming, hosting a summit, and so much more. These milestones have provided us with many opportunities for reflection. As the organization grew, we continually pondered what it means for us to exist within the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC), how we can best support our communities, and what it looks like for us to do things differently.

Understanding the implications of the NPIC is crucial for our continued growth and mission. The term NPIC is often mentioned within the sector, but rarely do we see a deep understanding of its implications for nonprofits engaged in liberatory work. At its core, the NPIC describes a system where nonprofits rely on funding from wealthy donors and foundations or require the ongoing and endless labour of grant writing and reporting. This reliance often leads to the depoliticization and co-optation of social movements due to the fear of losing support or funding. While this reality must be carefully navigated, especially for nonprofits offering life-saving support and services, it can still impede many of our missions. The danger arises when nonprofits become more accountable to their funders than the communities they serve. When this happens, we must ask ourselves: are we truly participating in enacting the change we want to see in the world?

Recognizing these challenges is the first step toward meaningful change. We understand there is no simple solution or perfect approach to critically evaluating our place in this system while remaining committed to doing things differently. However, we believe that vulnerability and transparency are crucial steps in this journey. It would be easy to create a report highlighting only our successes, but that would only tell part of the story. Our team and community have certainly achieved incredible things this year, but we’ve also faced significant growing pains, harsh truths, and the challenging aspects of nonprofit work. This includes navigating lateral violence, rising anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate, burnout, and working within a system not designed to support decolonized and liberatory efforts.

To address these challenges, we must commit to transparency and openness. Nonprofits often seem impenetrable, with only a select few having access to their inner workings. To challenge this, we aim to be an organization that is committed to our communities, that listens and responds with action, and that leads with vulnerability. We firmly believe that achieving better care for all and facing future challenges requires working together across differences, structures, and borders. Therefore, TransCare+ is dedicated to being transparent about our processes, sharing our knowledge and resources, and communicating all the good, bad, and in-between moments. We pledge to do this not only in our annual reports but throughout the year. We are committed to breaking down these barriers and keeping the door open for all our communities. We will lead with the boldness and vulnerability our communities deserve.

Looking back on the past year, we are both humbled and excited to recognize that we are still in the early chapters of our journey. Your trust, collaboration, and unwavering support have been invaluable, and we are deeply grateful for each of you.

This letter serves as an invitation to you—our staff, partners, and the broader community—to engage with us in this ongoing dialogue. Together, let’s continue navigating this path, striving for a future filled with empowerment, engagement, and radically transformative change. We eagerly anticipate the adventures and milestones that lie ahead.

With deepest appreciation and ongoing commitment,

Alessia and Jacob

Author: TransCare+

TransCare+ is a community-based organization run by and for queer and gender diverse folx. We strive to centre holistic, community-focused, and anti-colonial understandings of care and wellness in a way that is accessible to queer and gender diverse folx of various lived experiences. To do so, we work with queer and gender diverse communities to identify, develop, and provide services and resources that meet the care needs of queer and gender diverse folx across so-called Canada. TransCare+ operates as a knowledge hub, educational platform/service provider, and care collective.