The MasQUe ProjecT is a joint effort of Trans Pride Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog, and the Pittsburgh Equality Center. Our goal is to connect the regional trans and queer community with appropriate face masks in a manner that's respectful and dignified as well as safe.
Any household with a trans or queer (LGBTQ) neighbor, adult or child, can enroll. We distribute 2 masks per month for each household member. Our distribution is primarily no-contact drop-off by volunteer drivers. We also use the US Postal Service.
We also work to educate people about mask usage and encourage following the proper protocols.
We are currently working on three key initiatives
- an education and outreach campaign to promote mask usage
- providing at least 3 masks to students who may be returning to brick and mortar classroom settings
- working with sewists to create face mask designs that reduce gender dysphoria such as being misgendered repeatedly
The education and outreach campaign will require outside the box thinking because we cannot rely on traditional grassroots tools (flyers, tabling events, etc.) We'd like to work with a professional promotional team to develop this campaign and incorporate ideas our recipients have suggested - sponsoring live performance events, buttons, stickers, selfies in masks, videos, and more)
We know that shaming doesn't work, but approximately 60% of Pennsylvanians wear masks regularly. How do we reach the other 40%, especially those who are trans or queer identified?
Our other effort is pretty new - Pennsylvania's Governor has made it clear that students in school settings must wear masks. 2 masks wont be sufficient for kids who will need to change their mask during the school day, participate in other activities, cope with dropped masks or lost masks or stained masks in addition to laundering. We'd like to provide these students with 3 masks each and more if possible. But our main supplier only has adult sized masks. So while we can give those to older students, we need more sewists to make masks for student sized faces of all sorts.
Finally, we are working directly with trans and queer neighbors to address mask design issues that are tied to gender dysphoria symptoms. The clearest example is an ill-fitted mask covering up so much of someone's face and muffling their voice that they are misgendered. This takes a toll. We've already identified one sewist who has modified her mask design to accomodate someone with a small facial size who has facial hair they want to expose. We'd like to continue doing this important, life-saving work for adults and youth.
Other donations will support our general expenses - mileage, supplies, fabric, postage, etc.
The Pittsburgh Equality Center (PEC) formerly known as the GLCC is our fiscal sponsor. All funds will go through them and be used directly for the project.
For more information, please visit our FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/pghmasqueproject/
Donations can also be accepted via