Exploring the Roots and Champions of Community Care: TransCare+’s Community Care Champions Series

TransCare+ is excited to launch our new series titled the “Community Care Champions Series.” This series delves into the rich history of community care, highlighting its role in health systems change, liberation, and mutual aid, while celebrating the champions who have been instrumental in shaping its course. 

At the heart of the series is a video that explores the deep-rooted history of community care. This concept isn’t new; community care has been a practice used by racialized people of the global majority as a way of life.

Community care has been essential for the survival of communities for centuries, often emerging as a grassroots response to the shortcomings and disparities in formal healthcare systems. It represents a powerful form of resistance and empowerment, especially for communities on the margins. Viewing community care through this perspective reveals it as more than a practice; it emerges as a dynamic movement dedicated to fostering inclusivity, liberation, and mutual aid.

Looking back at movements that shaped the course of community care helps us envision a world where care is inclusive, liberated, and celebrated in all its forms.

Spotlight on Community Care Champions

TransCare+’s series goes beyond the historical context, shining a light on modern-day heroes of the community care movement. Each 60-second video in the series profiles a different “Community Care Champion,” telling a story of care, solidarity, and transformative action. 

These champions include:

The House and Ballroom Scene: A vibrant subculture that has provided a safe haven for LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly Black queer and trans folks and People of Colour. It’s a space where acceptance, support, and care are freely given and where we can learn a lot about the role of chosen families.

ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power): An influential group that played a pivotal role in advocating for AIDS research, treatment, and destigmatization, demonstrating the power of activism in healthcare.

The Disability Justice Movement: This movement redefines the narrative around disability, emphasizing autonomy, respect, and inclusive care, challenging societal norms and advocating for systemic change.

STAR House (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries): Founded by activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, STAR House was a groundbreaking force in providing shelter and support to homeless LGBTQ+ youth and sex workers in New York City.

The Black Panther Party: Known for its political activism, the Black Panther Party also made significant contributions to community care, including free breakfast programs for children and health clinics for marginalized communities.

Join the Conversation and the Movement

TransCare+ invites everyone to engage with this series, learn from it, and perhaps find inspiration to become community care champions in their own right. The organization encourages feedback and suggestions for future features. To dive deeper into the world of community care or to nominate a champion, take our history of community care course or reach out at hello@transcareplus.org.

This mini-series is more than just a collection of stories. It’s a call to action, a reminder of the power of collective care and solidarity. By looking back at the movements that have shaped the course of community care, we gain invaluable insights that help us envision and work towards a world where care is inclusive, liberated, and celebrated in all its diverse forms.

Animation work done by the incredible Arcana Creative.

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.