Indya Moore wants you to be Santa for trans kids this year. But don’t worry about donning a red suit or cross-country sleigh rides: The “Pose” star’s latest project makes gift-giving as simple as reading a youth’s wish list and making a few mouse clicks to turn their request into a reality.
Moore announced the launch of the “TranSanta” crowdfunding project in an Instagram video post last Wednesday, noting that they know firsthand how rough the holiday season can be for trans people, particularly young people in need: “I didn’t have a chimney growing up in the Bronx or in foster care.”
In the clip, the 25-year-old explained that they and their three friends ― lawyer Chase Strangio, intersex rights activist Pidgeon Pagonis, and front-end developer Kyle Lasky ― wanted to “make sure trans kids feel like a gift to this world, because they are!”
Donors looking to lift a young person’s spirits can visit TranSanta’s Instagram page and read the letters written by youth, which are connected to a Target gift registry. So far, young people submitting to the virtual chimney have asked for simple things to make their lives brighter, such as gender-affirming clothing, pet food, K-Pop CDs, and blankets.
“I just really want mini pride flags, a white button-up shirt, and finally a grey sweater,” wrote Remi, a 12-year-old boy.
The project accepts submissions from youth under 24 whose life circumstances prevent them from receiving meaningful gifts.
Entries by especially young kids feature details from their parents.
I was fired for being trans this year, and the holidays are going to be hard,” wrote the parent of Elijah, a five-year-old girl who recently came out to them. “Elijah has been expressing feelings of discomfort and dysphoria, and has been asking for more feminine clothing so she will feel like herself ... if anyone is able to help us make Christmas special after a rough year, that would be wonderful.”
On an Instagram Live filmed days after the project’s launch, Moore revealed that in foster care they were often put on “naughty lists” by their caregivers. Some holiday seasons, Moore said they were deliberately kept in the dark about getting gifts or received random items that didn’t make them feel cherished. That’s why seeing the tremendous response struck a personal chord, the actor told viewers.
“TranSanta is a space where trans youth who are least likely to be seen as deserving of love to have access to it ― and from places they never thought that they would find it,” they said.
Supporting trans kids in Canada
Financially supporting organizations like national helpline Kids Help Phone, the Ontario-wide LGBT Youthline, and Toronto’s Supporting our Youth can help them continue to provide services for trans youth seeking help and community.
Gender 404, a Canada-based online shop, is sending holiday cards to any LGBTQ+ community member who feels unsupported by loved ones.
The 519 Community Centre in Toronto runs the Trans Youth Mentorship Program, which is currently accepting donations to help people under 29 develop their skills and get jobs.
Calgary’s Skipping Stone serves trans youth and offers program sponsorship; until Dec. 18, they’re sending holiday care packages to locals who could use a pick-me-up.
LGBTQ+ organization Project 10 helps Montreal Canadians year-round through its services, including a gender-affirming attire program.
Supporting research can also benefit trans kids. Trans Youth Canada publishes reports and surveys related to trans youth that help raise awareness about concerns community members face.
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