Who We Are

Queer the Land (QTL) is a collaboration grounded in the self-determination of Queer and Transgender Black/Indigenous/people of color (QTBIPOC) and the vision of collectively owning our land and labor. We’re establishing a member-owned cooperative that is anchored by transitional housing, a community center, and community garden for QTBIPOC in the greater Seattle area. QTL was founded as a partnership between two QTBIPOC organizations, the Queer & Trans Pan-African Exchange (QTPAX) and Building Autonomy and Safety for Everybody (BASE). Our mission is to create a movement-building space that generates income, eventually becoming self-sufficient, and serves as a hub for Seattle QTBIPOC and our community organizing.


Photo from our 2019 annual retreat

Photo from our 2019 annual retreat


As people who come from legacies of enslavement, colonization and war, we acknowledge that we are on indigenous land and this project is currently based in the land of the Duwamish and Suquamish people. As people displaced by both historical and current global economic policies, we recognize our role in the displacement of indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest and are committed to fight with them in the collective struggle to free the land. We believe in our inherent right to self-defense and self-determination.

OUR POINTS OF UNITY:

1.     We unapologetically and deliberately center Queer and Transgender Black/Indigenous/people of color in our organizing, and commit to leadership that consistently reflects our membership base.
2.     We believe in organizing that meets our basic needs, sharing resources and building collective life with the principle of “to each according to need, from each according to ability.”
3.     We commit to undoing anti-Black racism and transmisogyny in all of our organizing.
4.     We believe in full ownership of our labor.
5.     We commit to creating a nurturing relationship with the land on which we are based.
6.     We recognize the history and current realities of state repression and police violence.
7.     We believe in alternative forms of community-based responses such as restorative and transformative justice, and commit to setting and practicing community accountability values in our organizing.
8.     We commit to resist all imperialism and militarism in its local and global forms.

OUR MEMBERSHIP:

Within our membership, we have different levels of engagement because we realize that not everyone can or wants to participate in the same ways. General members attend our quarterly meetings, vote on major decisions, participate in one of our three committees (Operations & Development, Membership & Outreach, and Property Acquisition & Management), and pay dues of $20 a month or one hour of service to QTL.

Then, we have core organizers, who have all the responsibilities of general members, but also lead our committees and projects, meet monthly and as needed, and represent QTL in community partnerships and coalitions. Core organizers serve from one to three years and then rotate off the core to prevent power from being concentrated in the hands of only a few.


This project was created to directly address the root causes and power structures that are not only displacing our communities, but also destabilizing our community organizing work. The idea for this project comes from our collective experience: The lived experience of the housing crisis and economic displacement in Seattle. We want to build the solution ourselves as the communities most impacted by these issues.