Tegan and Sara launched the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which aims to “fight for economic justice, health and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.” The indie-pop sister duo announced the endeavor in a letter via their website.
The Quin sisters began working on the foundation during their fall tour in support of their album Love You to Death, which they called a “listening and learning tour.” The duo spent their time reading fan letters and meeting with them in person along with activists, legislators, researchers and nonprofits that work specifically with LGBTQ causes.
“We learned that the lack of federal funding for LGBTQ services, limited training for doctors about the needs of their LGBTQ patients and severe workplace discrimination are disproportionately affecting women,” they wrote, noting how much more severe the experience is for women of color and lesbian and trans communities. “Most importantly, we learned that LGBTQ women and girls are feeling overwhelmingly rejected and left behind.”
Read Tegan and Sara’s full statement about founding the Tegan and Sara Foundation:
Since the beginning of our career, our LGBTQ fans have supported us in innumerable ways. Our journey navigating sexism and homophobia in the music industry has always been interwoven with the stories you share with us. Your personal histories of injustice and discrimination at home, school, work, and church have inspired us to use our public status to speak out about the struggles of the LGBTQ community.
Our fans not only support us, but each other as well. We see hope and strength in our community, whether through every day acts of kindness or through the power of mobilizing behind a common cause. Therefore, it is with deep gratitude and pride that we commit ourselves further to the fight for justice, equality and progress.
Over these last months, we have been working on a new project, the Tegan and Sara Foundation. Our mission is to fight for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.
In the fall of 2016 we traveled across North America touring our new record, Love You to Death. We played shows every night, but it was also an important listening and learning tour for us. Every day we read your letters. We met with local fans, youth activists, researchers, legislators, and nonprofits working tirelessly to promote LGBTQ equality. We were deeply inspired by their work. The list would be too long if we mentioned everyone who generously spent time with us, but a special thank you to GLAAD, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the LA LGBT Center, Equality North Carolina, the Audre Lorde Project, the Astraea Foundation, and the Williams Institute. We learned a great deal from you all, including much more about the needs of LGBTQ people in North America. We learned that the lack of federal funding for LGBTQ services, limited training for doctors about the needs of their LGBTQ patients, and severe workplace discrimination are disproportionately affecting women. Most importantly, we learned that LGBTQ women and girls are feeling overwhelmingly rejected and left behind.
LGBTQ women are experiencing disproportionately high levels of poverty, health issues and inequality. LGBTQ women of color, especially transgender women often experience these issues even more severely due to racism and transphobia. Today, given the state of politics in the United States, we must continue to unite and fight for our rights and against all forms of oppression.
Through the Tegan and Sara Foundation, we can be proactive with our support rather than wait to react to discrimination as it occurs. We will support the work of other organizations who have been fighting for LGBTQ and women’s rights by raising funds and awareness for their initiatives. We will fight against the repressive legislation of the incoming Trump administration. We will fight against regressive homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic legislation. We will fight for economic, racial and gender justice. We started the Foundation to dismantle the systems of inequity that prevent LGBTQ girls and women from reaching their full potential. Together, we can make a difference.
– Tegan and Sara