To whom it may concern, regarding PDX Trans Pride:
We are a multiracial coalition of trans and queer organizers and community advocates making a public statement in support of the organizers of the Portland Women’s March, concerning PDX Trans Pride and its director, Katt (Rebekah) Brewis. Ms. Brewis has a long history of contentious and harmful interactions with individuals and organizations in our communities, including (most recently) racist attacks on other activists at Trans Day of Remembrance in November 2016 and the Portland Women’s March in January 2017. As we’ve witnessed her organization gaining prominence over the past year, we have become increasingly concerned.
As connected individuals and organizational leaders, we have for several years held a quiet consensus that PDX Trans Pride, represented by Ms. Brewis, is not a safe advocate or representative of our communities. Some of us have sought accountability with Ms. Brewis in the past, and most have severed personal and organizational ties with PDX Trans Pride. Based on her history of dominating collective processes, co-opting the work of others, legally and personally threatening other organizations and organizational leaders, and (most recently) using her organization’s nonprofit status to appropriate donations intended for another organization, we are now urging our community partners and allies to avoid any negotiation or partnership with Ms. Brewis or PDX Trans Pride. Moreover, we would urge you to not uplift PDX Trans Pride as a representative voice for transgender and gender nonconforming people or our communities in greater Portland.
We do not take this decision lightly, especially because Ms. Brewis is still a member of our community. As a transgender woman, she is subject to multiple forms of violence and marginalization, and is extremely vulnerable to ostracization. However, her actions and statements before the Women’s March were already an issue of community safety. Her actions around the Women’s March, particularly her statements accusing activists of color of transmisogyny, require public pushback, especially from white trans community members.
Ms. Brewis has a pattern of targeting activists of color, bullying, harassing, and pushing them out of community spaces. By claiming transmisogyny, Ms. Brewis is deflecting accountability for her own actions, and weaponizing white supremacy in a way that splinters our communities even further. As people who are all marginalized and endangered in the United States, we are actively concerned with the actions of any individual who seeks to deepen the rifts between us for personal gain. We refute Ms. Brewis’ accusations of transmisogyny as justification of her decisions around the Women’s March. As trans and gender-non-conforming activists and community members, we are in solidarity with the organizers of the Women’s March and look forward to building stronger ties with each other as we all continue our work.
Thank you for your time. If you have questions or concerns, please be advised that this matter is under investigation by the Department of Justice.
Greater Portland Trans Unity
Sankofa Collective Northwest
Queer Latinx Art Collective
AFL-CIO Pride @ Work Oregon
Devon Rose Davis
Phyllicia Daria McGowan