Dearest sisters, friends, and allies,
The time has come for Heartspark Press, as they say in the theater, to fade to black. Over the last few years, we have accomplished so much: two anthologies, two children’s storybooks, two poetry chapbooks, an expansive video & audio storytelling archive of AMAB Trans & Non-Binary Storytelling, over 60 live events (both virtual & in-person), a food pantry (in Olympia), and a collaborative writing workshop (in St. Louis) to boot. We also redistributed at least $50,000 to AMAB trans and non-binary artists, most of whom were BIPOC, and gave out 850 free books to trans kiddos in need across the world. Our work speaks for itself: bold, vulnerable, honest to a fault, and the possibility of another world where our community was truly free to be whoever they are, however that turned out to be.
That is not to say that this work was perfect. It wasn’t. Speaking only for myself, as a white trans woman, I made plenty of blunders. Those blunders I still regret to this day. I honestly believed that if I kept centering BIPOC lives in everything I did, that my work as a white “ally” would be better than most of my white community. And I was anti-racist, but that didn’t make my work absent of racism. To my Black, Brown, and Indigenous sisters, I am so sorry for anything that I may have done that made living in this world even harder. You deserved better than that. I will keep working on becoming a better accomplice for the rest of my life.
To those out there considering picking up our mantle, know this: the fight for our liberation as trans girls, trans women, and AMAB non-binary people is an ongoing battle, one that will likely continue for generations to come. Our ancestors deeply understood that resting was just as important as the work itself. Be bold, but don’t throw yourself under the bus in the name of freedom. You, yes, you, are important. You are magic incarnate, and there is a sacred light inside your heart that deserves protection. Trust your instincts when you know you need to slow down. Take care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Hydrate. Dance. Live. There will always been more to do, and that’s okay. Fighting for our lives is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need you to survive if we’re going to make it to the end together.
Thank you everyone for believing in my weird, wacky dream. We came so, so far, and it has been an honor to fight alongside you.
With so much love and gratitude,
Co-Founder & Former Co-Executive Director of Heartspark Press