Queers For Economic Justice Closing Due To Lack Of Long-Term Funding

After 12 years of existence, the non-profit group Queers for Economic Justice — which sought to challenge systems perpetuating poverty among LGBT people — announced that it is closing due to an inability to secure "future long-term funding."

In a statement released on their website, Founding Board Member and Executive Director Amber Hollibaugh wrote: Q4ej

Funding has always been a challenge for QEJ throughout our 12 years of existence, but this year the financial crisis has been relentless. We finally had to face the painful reality that we cannot keep going. The crisis cannot be resolved simply by a one-time burst of money. Had that been true, we would have turned to you, our community, and asked for help. I am sure of your response…

We have never had a large number of major donors able to write big checks (though we thank the ones who have). What we have always had was a loyal and committed group of donors who believe in what QEJ does, and who gave—not huge sums—but all they could. Yet that wasn’t enough to keep us afloat. We needed to find another way to stay alive and, though we had a strategy, we did not have the time to implement it. Realizing this, we looked at each other and said what we had never said before: We have to close.

Though the organization plans to close its office by late January 2014, their website will stay operational for the next six months. In the meantime, they are soliciting donations to help meet the costs for a proper shutdown.

However, Hollibaugh went on to describe how certain aspects of QEJ's advocacy work can and must continue:

Ironically, as we prepare to close our doors, our work and our vision has never been stronger. Our new initiative, Queer Survival Economies—a project addressing the devastating impact of the nation’s ongoing economic crisis on LGBTQ lives—is taking off. And QEJ’s advocacy work with poor queer adults in city shelters remains stable and resilient, while our LGBTQ shelter support groups continue to grow. We maintain an organization which fosters dialogue and debate about the crucial issues confronting our communities: immigration, HIV status, sexuality and the power of the erotic, queer aging and disability; policing; the struggles of queer, low-wage workers; and the still-harrowing impact of Hurricane Sandy on our communities.

Queer, economic justice activism is needed now more than ever and we will need you, our community, to help carry that work forward as QEJ comes to an end. Use our website, our writings, like A New Queer Agenda and Beyond Marriage, talk about the issues and the vision for which QEJ is known. It is now up to each of us to take this on, never letting the too often absent voices of our communities disappear…


  1. jamal49 says

    @SUNDAYBOY I could agree with your assessment of NYC as a mini-state of the rich but I can’t agree with the comparison to Caracas. Caracas one of the highest violent crime rates in the Western Hemisphere. NYC, fortunately, does not. That could change in the next few years–not only in NYC but across our nation as well–as Americans belatedly wake up to the harsh economic realities of America, Inc. By then it will be too late. All that will be left is a disillusioned, powerless and very, very angry electorate fighting each other viciously and violently for the few crumbs and scraps that might fall from the elites’ tables.

  2. Jake says

    I’m glad to read some good news for a change. Queer is an anti-gay concept. It was anti-gay in its original iteration as a slur and it is anti-gay in the way that these clowns are using it. For nearly every homophobic claim from the Christian right – gays are subversive, gays shouldn’t get married, gays can convert themselves to straight – there is a parallel claim from queer activists. They just dress up their internalized homophobia in political rhetoric, but they are absolutely anti-gay. So good riddance to this group.

  3. ratbastard says

    True, Sundayboy. Very true. NYC is like a 3rd world city with fabulous concentrated wealth, power and privilege, and a huge and continuing growing under class, with a minority and oppressed so called middle class. This is partially because it’s economy, while impressive on paper, like the whole country, is not so nearly impressive when statistics are broken down. Our economy has been stagnating for decades, peaked in the immediate post WW2 period, and has been in steady and pernicious decline, at least as r as real wages, earnings and benefits for the “middle class” since the early 70s. We now have a concentration of wealth, power unheard of since the Victorian era. But they had a genuinely growing economy, we don’t. And the situation and Europe and and elsewhere in the world including the so called developing countries is actually worse.

  4. KidJ/NYU says

    They formed a group. They said a lot of stuff to each other. They accomplished nothing. They disbanded.

    That is the standard arc of most “queer” groups. Pathetic, useless and self-indulgent. And as some people correctly noted above, very antigay.

    So long queers! We gays and lesbians will not miss you!

  5. Nyhan says

    The best part about this story is that the vile Dan Villarreal is the one who is reporting it. Poor Danny! Self-described queer who used his access to the Queerty to sexually degrade the deceased Tyler Clementi. It takes a special kind of evil person to do something like that. This same queer regularly defames gay people and has written homophobic posts that have been quoted on NOM’s blog, on WND, on right wing websites, and in the Russian press. He actively aids and abets the oppression of gay people. That is what queer activism is about. The fewer queer groups exist, the better off LGBs will be.

  6. etseq says

    Good riddance – I hope those hipster poseurs known as “Against Equality – a Queer Anarchist Collective” aka Ryan Conrad’s vanity fan club are next. These groups have opposed legal equality and smeared the LGBT community for years as marxist class traitors. They regularly make outrageous statements for no other reason than to give the religious right ammunition against us (for example, they invoke queer theory/social construction/anti-essentialism to deny the existence of sexual orientation as a stable, fixed or immutable category which has been cited in right wing court briefs to deny strict scrutiny for equal protection). They vehemently oppose gay marriage as elitist, sexist and racist, without even the hint of irony.
    PS – Poor Daniel Villareal is probably crying over this as he is a fellow traveller of these “infantile leftists” as none other than Lenin himself denounced marxists who refused to cooperate with liberals based on ideological purity tests.

  7. Jake says

    I read through the whole statement on the QEJ website, but I could not find one thing that it actually accomplished in its 12 year existence. There’s lots of boasting about its “vision,” about how it “articulated a critique” of capitalism and how it “talked about” the root causes of poverty, etc.

    So these queers really knew how to sit around and talk a lot. But as far as actually accomplishing anything, not so much. Maybe nobody wanted to give them money so they could sit around visioning and critiquing all day.

    70 years ago, a corrupt and predatory system was challenged by working people. They formed unions and had goals and they worked together to achieve those goals. What a tragedy that today the people opposing predatory capitalism are these talkative clowns.

  8. anon says

    Oh, the irony of an economic “justice” charity going bankrupt! However, has anyone heard of them before today? I certainly didn’t. How could they have expected donations if they were complete unknowns. And when people donate money, particularly large amounts, they do tend to research what the group is all about. Why would anyone want to give them money? What purpose do they serve?

  9. FFS says

    No one donates money to fight poverty. What good are designer labels to the average American if they aren’t lots of homeless people starving in the streets who can’t afford them.

    Since The Palin appeared and gave Americans the courage to admit that intelligence was never something they valued anyway, amassing piles of money with no intention of sharing is the only real metric with which our nation measures our individual self-worth.

  10. stevetalbert says

    Maybe doners realized there were other places to spend money more effectively … such as education. Like giving to places like point foundation. Or gay centers to help homeless youth or and teach classes about money management.

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