ABOUT US

Our Vision:  We seek community. We seek love. We want a thriving, close knit, and visible community of queer and transgender people. We want to breathe life into the heart of this community. We want to help each other have resilient bodies, minds, and souls.

 

Our Mission: We work together to advocate for our rights and for intersectional social justice. We organize transgender, queer, and marginalized people of all ages into closer communities. Our events are for community building, networking for advocacy, and supporting each other. We help each other meet basic needs, resist toxic norms, and practice physical and psychological survival skills. We develop models for rural organizing and community resilience. We start programs that get decentralized and continued without us as authority. We are water and soil for grassroots.

Our Structure: Organizers, mentors, and community partners work together to plan programs and events, share skills, and collaborate on projects.

 

Organizers- the core members who have a specific program or type of volunteer work that they take point on. Organizers invest for the long haul and should not overstretch themselves by taking on too much at once. They check in with each other about self care and following up action steps. Some manage MQC communications, inventory, and network needs.

 

Mentors- people of all ages with expertise, lived experience, and passion to share in our ongoing conversations. We welcome those without the time to organize on their own. Your wisdom is needed and appreciated. If you could offer support as requested or as you identify need for mindful program development, consider joining our mentor network.

 

Community Partners- organizations/groups we raise up as they work for social justice in ways that support our efforts. Because all oppressions are connected and identities overlap, we want to help each other learn and grow. We believe that the best way to improve our activism is to listen to and support each other. 

 

Stakeholders- a way Community Partners may loop into our core conversations. Stakeholders represent the capacity, needs, and resources of a sending group. They handle cross-network introductions, online and in person. To get involved as a Community Partner, consider who in your group would be good at this role and ask them to email mindfulqueercollective@gmail.com.

 

Our Needs:

  • Stakeholders and Mentors

  • Facilitators for events, backpack makers, a Web Index Curator, a Web Calendar Manager

  • Artists, columnists, poets, and photographers who want to craft educational blogposts, comics, graphics, and outreach materials

  • Wheelchair accessible spaces for peer-led community gatherings

  • Childcare and rideshare volunteers, in as many regions as possible

Our History: In fall 2014, Quinn Gormley and Alianne (formerly Fiona, aka Remedy) Harper carpooled over an hour to trans support groups. The lack of access for those not near a major city was frustrating. So, they decided to create the supportive community they needed in Damariscotta. A monthly support group turned into a weekly space for LGBTQ+ teens and their allies.

 

In 2015, Quinn and Alianne began Mid Coast Queer Collective (our initial name) to widen the reach of resources for rural trans folk. Some of their work that year included:

 

  • Helping Skidompha Public Library expand to include the most queer fiction, film, and non-fiction in the state! Available via this link.

  • Jessica Labbe and Evan McVeigh of Portland, Maine, joined the team. They trained health, religious, and service providers in transgender care and cultural safety.

  • Youth facilitators and awesome graphics manager Ryn Leathers volunteered at drop-ins.

  • The Down East Aids Network/Health Equity AlLiance (HEAL) and Pine Tree Youth Organizing (PTYO) joined MQC’s board as Community Partners.

  • MQC helped HEAL launch Central Maine Pride.

  • Quinn designed and distributed the Maine Transgender Economic Survey (METES).

  • Alianne ran Summer Safe Spaces, cross-regional meetups for queer youth, and began giving activism workshops with Pine Tree Youth Organizing, Portland Outright, and L-A Outright.

  • In the fall, the MQC team joined in organizing the annual Maine Youth Summit. They also coordinated a weekend conference on queer environmentalism with Maine Students for Climate Justice.

  • The Backpacks for Homeless Youth program began.

 

In 2016, MQC continued to help plan and provide program for the annual Youth Activism Gathering, Maine Youth Summit, and Central Maine Pride. In addition:

 

  • MQC events diversified to be intergenerational community gatherings, from potluck bonfires to game nights to affirming dance parties for all.

  • Many new members joined the collective, including Sass Linneken of Resources for Organizing for Social Change (ROSC) and Alyssa Thompson, class of 2017 at Monmouth Academy.

  • Organizers Lin Gokee-Rindal, Rachel Harris, and Caitlin Horigan went to Standing Rock and coordinated a north-east ridesharing and crowdsourcing network along the way.

  • Ivy Quigley, Richie Elefante, Keagan Delaney, and Bianca Pastrana began organizing community resilience and free self defense trainings in Portland, Maine.

 

In 2017, we recollected ourselves. We changed our name from Mid Coast Queer Collective to Mindful Queer Collective to reflect our broadening nature. We united our efforts to build safe spaces, people power, and grassroots for our community.

Mindful Queer Collective needs your love and assistance to continue functioning. We are a group of organizers and activists that aim to provide support and advice, necessary resources, and safe spaces for queer expression. We operate on donations, grants, and the fulfillment that comes from cultivating community. Please message us at mindfulqueercollective@gmail.com if you can spare any supplies, money, and/or time to help with programs!

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