[The following is a guest post which was submitted as a series of comments by Weirdward. The post title, images, archives, and some minor editing was done by me. I also added a few words and links in brackets at the end of the post–GM]
GUEST POST by WEIRDWARD
I just came across some information today after doing some research, and really wanted to share what I found because it’s just so messed up. It’s in relation to the Women’s March movement, and I first saw mention of it on Feminist Current, and followed it up because I was curious.
Basically, the organisers of Women’s March on Portland partnered with a trans non-profit organisation called Portland Trans Pride (or PDX Trans Pride) to sponsor their event and collect donations for them, with the understanding that PTP would take a cut of the donations to cover their own expenses (how charitable!) but would pass the rest of the money on to the WMP to cover the cost of the event, and that any further funds left over would be put towards funding future activism/events under the WMP banner.
Well, surprise, surprise, turns out that Portland Trans Pride only has one real board member, transwoman Rebekah Brewis, and that the WMP organisers were not aware of this at the time. Apparently there were previously two other women who were board members of Portland Trans Pride (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess actual biological women since one of them was Brewis’s then-girlfriend), but one had been kicked off the board by Brewis six months earlier, and his girlfriend had also subsequently left due to the relationship ending. After the march, Brewis refused to release details of how much money he’d received in monetary donations, refused to release any of the money to Women’s March on Portland, ignored all correspondence from them, and absconded to Canada. According to the statement on Facebook released by WMP, the stolen funds included at least $22,000 raised through T-shirt sales.
Read their Facebook statement here:
“Women’s March on Portland
24 February at 00:59 ·
MESSAGE FROM MARGARET JACOBSEN:
I was one of the lead organizers for the Women’s March on Washington: Portland (aka the Women’s March on Portland, “WMP”). We sought a fiscal sponsor for the event. Rebekah Brewis, the Executive Director of Portland Trans Pride (“PTP”), agreed to have PTP serve as the fiscal sponsor. Our plan was to raise funds for the march that took place in Portland on January 21, 2017.
We did not have a written agreement with PTP, but we expected it would receive some portion of the funds raised for acting as our sponsor. People who advanced funds for expenses for the event were to be reimbursed. If there were additional funds left over we hoped to apply those to other events down the road. Both PTP and WMP represented on their Facebook pages and in communications with the public that funds that were donated would be earmarked for WMP.
People could contribute in a variety of ways. They could donate goods or services. They could buy t-shirts and a portion of the proceeds would go to WMP. Purchases were made through PTP’s PayPal account. Or, they could donate directly to WMP via PTP’s Pay Pal account. Expenses would be paid or reimbursed out of those funds. Some were reimbursed during the planning stages of the event.
The event was very successful and we raised more than we expected! We raised approximately $22,000 from t-shirt sales. We do not know how much was raised from direct donations because we do not have access to those records.
After the event was over we contacted Ms. Brewis to discuss the need for additional reimbursements and how to handle the remaining funds. At that time Ms. Brewis said it was her intention to keep all of the funds for PTP, which was never agreed to. She then stopped communicating with us about this issue. We learned shortly thereafter that while she indicated on her application to the DOJ that PTP had three board members, two of them had stopped being associated with PTP approximately 6 months before she applied for her non-profit status and the event itself. Stephanie Anderson, who is listed as a Board member on the application for non-profit status, said that she had been told by Ms. Brewis she was “kicked off” the Board back in June, 2016. According to Ms. Anderson, the other Board Member was Ms. Brewis’ girlfriend, and following a break up she too had been disassociated from PTP for some time.
We attempted to reach out to Ms. Brewis multiple times to follow up on her intentions. We also wanted to ensure that those who donated received the proper documentation regarding their donations, regardless of which organization received the funds. We had an attorney attempt to reach her via telephone, email, Facebook, and fist class and certified mail. All of these efforts were unsuccessful.
Late yesterday we saw that Ms. Brewis had posted that she was leaving the United States for Canada. To our knowledge, PTP has not been dissolved as a non-profit is required to do.
We are very concerned for the people who donated in good faith to WMP. We want to ensure that their donations are recognized. We are also concerned that Ms. Brewis appears to have misrepresented the legitimacy of her organization to WMP, and as a result is personally benefiting from the funds that were intended to go to either WMP or PTP.
PayPal has a 45 day period in which people can contest charges to their accounts. We want to make sure that those individuals who donated directly to Pay Pal can do so in the time they have.
There are a number of documents to support this complaint. I am sending them via separate email to Linda Vazquez at her email address. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Brewis has since released a statement of his own on Facebook accusing two of the WMP organisers of transphobia, both of whom are Black women. He claims he is holding onto the money because of their ‘transphobia’ and their association with other transphobic groups, and says that the accusations of transphobia have to be legally settled (presumably to his satisfaction and in his favour) before he will hand any money over (which will be never, I mean, come on). He also accuses the organisers of not being genuine activists, saying they are ‘jobless’ (actually a lot of activists are poor and/or jobless because OPPRESSION, hello) and that they want to exploit the list of donors for corporate gain. I mean, that’s not impossible, this entire Women’s March movement is very corporate, but from having a quick look at these two Black women on Facebook and other places around the internet, they both seem pretty legit to me. I would trust them with my activism dollars long before I would trust Rebekah Brewis anyway. Giving a shit about women is obviously not what this guy is about at all, he just wants that money for his own corporate profiteering. I also love the slip early on where he describes the relationship between the two organisations in this language: “Our [Portland Trans Pride’s] lead role and control of the Women’s March on Portland”. Yep. That’s exactly the right description, actually. We are in a situation where trans organisations are controlling and dictating women’s activism, and it’s terrifying. And trans organisations obviously know they’re doing it. They’re proud that they’re doing it. Do you fucking understand this, women? Do you understand that you’re being controlled by men in dresses to make sure that you don’t get too out of hand and start demanding anything like, oh, I don’t know, actual liberation from male rule?
Read his statement here:
“PDX Trans Pride
24 February at 02:27
PDX Trans Pride condemns the transphobia perpetuated by Margaret Jacobsen and Erica Fuller, past Women’s March on Portland co-leaders through their recently published false narrative about our organization and it’s leaders, along with our lead role and control of the Women’s March on Portland 2017, which we fully permitted, insured, and fiscally sponsored. These individuals (who are jobless) have been trying to access the list of donations we’ve received so they can profit off of the event for their own corporate gain (Our Executive Legal Director was told by Margaret Jacobsen that the Oregon Governor’s office and “Kate Brown” “wanted a role in future marches” and that it’d be great to “make corporate profit off this statewide” which WE never intended to do- and to establish a separate organization, which is prohibited by our organization’s rights). These individuals and anyone supporting them will be held accountable for libel through our organization’s attorneys regarding matters of consequence, among other pending legal actions.
This afternoon we published a post condemning certain actions by certain transphobic leaders of both Portland’s Resistance and Don’t Shoot Portland. On the day of the Women’s March on Portland 2017, Don’t Shoot Portland crashed the stage without the knowledge nor permission of our organization, and made many transphobic remarks, including call us “transgenders”. About 2 months ago, one of our leaders was attacked by a person named Danialle from Don’t Shoot Portland, who policed whether she had the surgery or not in determining if she was a “real woman”. In response, we have been investigating the matters legally and have stop authorizations on all transactions related to the March until matters are settled civilly and legally due to noncompliance with our programming and due to the attacks we have witnessed by these individuals and associated organizations.”
In the discussion on Facebook pertaining to this: PDX Trans Pride is fiscally sponsored by another non-profit, Media Alliance, and, as such, could not legally sponsor the Women’s March at all. From someone who appears to be from Media Alliance, “For the Women’s March organizers, PDX transpride not a legal entity and can’t fiscally sponsor anything. You needed to research that before you allowed them to collect funds.” There’s also a transwoman in the comments section pretty much saying, yep, we knew about this person, we knew they were a huge problem, you really shouldn’t have trusted them. I mean, in one sense, yes, these women were very naive, on the other hand, they’re behaving exactly as men tell women they should behave – be nice and good and trusting, and of course, transwomen can do no wrong. And now that they’ve been exploited, it’s their own fault, and they should have known better.
But naturally it’s not the fault of the trans community for knowing about this person for years and doing nothing to curb their behaviour. And this same transwoman goes into damage control mode quick smart and trots out the sob-story about how hard transwomen’s lives are and how they can’t be held responsible for their actions because of that. And how it would be terrible if there were ‘rifts’ in the community because of this – yes indeed, it would be inconvenient for him and his friends if women woke up to the fact they were being exploited by ‘transwomen’ who are no different than men because they are men, and started saying hell no.
And also take note, libfems, that the trans allies you love so much have zero problems screwing you over in exactly the way they’ve been doing to lesbians and radical feminists for decades. And even more disgusting is that he is targeting Black women activists in this instance. Like, holy shit, the liberal feminist and queer movements need to take a long hard look at themselves.
I love the website of his non-profit too, totally bare bones and looks like something from the early 2000s. He does the usual thing of conflating trans with LGB by talking about his organisation as being “an Oregon based transgender/LGBTQIA+ nonprofit community organization”; but of course every point of activism and policy is entirely about trans issues, and overwhelmingly, implicitly or explicitly, about transwomen. I found it particularly interesting that in talking about funding trans surgeries, the one explicit surgical procedure he mentions is facial feminisation surgery. Not bottom surgery. Not boob implants. Certainly nothing to do at all with those lowly transmen [/sarcasm]. Hormones, counselling, and facial feminisation surgery. Hmm, now why might that be? It couldn’t possibly be because now that heterosexual men are jumping on the trans train in droves, they, unlike the earlier mostly effeminate gay men who transed as a way to survive and who had to accept having their bodies cut up by conservative, homophobic patriarchal male medicine, have the political, institutional and social clout to dictate policy in this area, and get to keep their male bodies completely intact whilst also claiming to be ‘women.’
This guy seems really unhinged. He also recently posted a video on Facebook confronting some policeman who he claims was following him around in a store (I honestly felt sorry for the police officer, and I’m no fan of the police most of the time), and further claims that he has since filed a 2 *million* dollar claim against the City of Portland because, apparently, they ‘retaliated’ against him in some unspecified fashion as a result of him filing an earlier complaint against Daryl Turner, President of the Portland Police Bureau Association Union (at least, I think that’s right. The post is so poorly written, it’s actually hard to comprehend what he’s saying. He also doesn’t say why he filed a complaint against this Daryl Turner guy). The whole weird thing is on his Facebook here
The sickest part of this patriarchal fuckery has got to be that he also describes himself as a “#TransLivesMatter Intersectional Civil Rights Leader” – appropriating the Black Lives Matter campaign and the centuries-long struggle of Black people to gain human rights, whilst simultaneously stealing money from women and using his white male power and socialisation to target Black women feminist activists who challenge his criminal behaviour. Sure sounds ‘intersectional’ to me.
And also let’s be very clear – no person who was truly oppressed would be able to do the things this guy is doing. Confronting a policeman in a store is something that I wager no Black person would dare to do, regardless of whether they were actually being profiled/followed or not. Because Black people know that policemen will happily shoot them dead for doing far less. The Black Lives Matter campaign started because of white police officers shooting Black youth, and grieving Black parents and Black communities can’t even get those police officers to lose their jobs or go to trial or be convicted, let alone ask for 2 million dollars in compensation because their child was murdered by employees of the state.
I mean really, libfems. This is the guy you want to get behind. The guy who will steal money earmarked for your activist cause centering the concerns of actual women, accuse Black women of transphobia to justify it, make even more money by using his male socialisation, power and influence to sue other powerful males, to potentially sue even poor Black women activists if he gets his way, to con money out of the public to help men with a sexual fetish access women in vulnerable spaces, and pay the most despicable sort of lip service to the actual real oppression that others face in order to further his own agenda whilst simultaneously shitting all over those activists when he comes into contact with them. Yep, good luck with that. Come back in ten years and we’ll talk, and you can tell me all about how well that worked out for you.
[ Notes from GM:
Jorey Lee “Rebekah Katt” Brewis
( https://twitter.com/kattsense ) has a long history of incarcerations including a six-year+ sentence for breaking into a woman’s home and threatening her with a knife.
Since his release he has been allegedly involved in a number of violent incidents:
Below is video of him speaking at the Portland Women’s March.