Open Collective
Open Collective
Brooklyn Transcore Winter 2022 End-Of-Year Open Collective "What's Update"
Published on December 22, 2022 by Evan G

In 2022, the tenth year since its founding, Brooklyn Transcore has accomplished a lot!

- joined the Open Collective platform and Open Collective Foundation
- held monthly open meetings with 50+ attendees each month with free community meals
- hosted our return to live events with our Haunted Punk House Fundraiser
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- curated artists, community engagement, and afterparty for Punk Island 2022
- partnered with Bluestockings Cooperative Bookstore to distribute harm-reduction resources at events
- launched BKTC traveling free store to distribute clothing as a pop-up at community events
- initiated our musical mutual aid program redistributing unutilized instruments to trans people
- garnered 35 unique financial contributors on the open collective platform since joining

Through organizing as working-class people in the queer community, we have cultivated abundance by sharing our knowledge and resources to help one another overcome systemic obstacles. Our most consistent personal and collective challenge has been financial equity. The trans community is structurally underemployed and underpaid, which is no different in the music industry. Trans musicians are often underpaid and booked less than our cisgender counterparts, compounded with inequalities we face daily, making it challenging to have the time or resources to create art. 

We have piloted numerous mutual aid initiatives to ensure our community has access to free size, weather, and gender-expansive clothing and nourishing, hot food available for various dietary needs whenever possible and that no one is turned away for lack of funds. In addition, surveying at our open meetings has made it clear that a significant obstacle for trans people who want to start a band is a lack of access to equipment, musical knowledge, or people with whom to jam. In response, we have piloted a musical mutual aid program, getting instruments directly into the hands of trans people. We have also directed BKTC community members to sliding-scale trans-led musical lessons. Finally, we have created space in our open meetings for artists to connect, which has led to new artistic collaborations and professional opportunities!

Another challenge we have faced in 2022 is figuring out how to hold accessible shows for the diverse communities of people who belong to Brooklyn Transcore in an infamously inaccessible city and still in the middle of a pandemic. Something we have learned is that people often have conflicting access needs. That means something that might make an environment more inviting for one community member might be the very thing that makes it not possible for another community member to attend. People have differing sensory, physical, covid, and trauma-informed access needs – to name a few. BKTC has grown by taking this knowledge into our approach to event production. We are now making a point to rotate where we hold events regularly so that someone unable to attend some of our events will still be able to participate in others. Brooklyn Transcore is continually expanding our programming and interests, nurturing community building, and cross-genre booking in acoustic, noise, electronic dance music, and beyond!

In our 10th year as an organization, we have seen dramatic growth in new membership and a reenergizing in our veteran crew. And this momentum has been made exponential by our burgeoning scene of queer and trans youth bands. Our plans in 2023 are to lean into this momentum with a focus on all-ages programming and transgenerational community building, with two all-ages events in January alone; an all-ages open meeting and show at Chaos Computer on January 11th and an all-ages acoustic showcase at Bluestocking Cooperative Bookstore on January 13th!

We are excited to announce that we will begin to hold self-defense training in conjunction with Tiny Gym and Secure the Bag in the new year! 

Brooklyn Transcore will also be hitting the road! Multiple interstate tours are in the works, and Brooklyn Transcore bands will perform with our community resources in tow with some very exciting trans headliners! In each town, we will connect with grassroots community groups doing complementary work in their respective communities. 

We are pursuing grants to more sustainably fund our initiatives and not solely rely on our already financially disadvantaged community members. For example, we are beginning a new Partnership with Gibson Gives in the new year, who will be supporting our musical mutual aid initiative with steady equipment donations.

Of course, PUNK ISLAND is returning in June 2023 as part of Make Music NY, and the Brooklyn Transcore stage is planning our most ambitious lineup yet!

FINALLY, a documentary following the first trans woman inclusive women’s music festival on the historic grounds of MICH FEST has already begun filming, and fundraising for sponsored tickets for crew/organizer attendees will also begin in the new year...


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