In response to the current state of affairs and long-standing struggle for trans rights, Bandcamp is pushing an advocacy initiative this Friday, Aug. 4. All of Bandcamp’s revenue shares for that day will be donated to the Transgender Law Center.
As a music platform Bandcamp encourages direct support for artists and labels. The company’s platform allows artists or labels total control to sell directly to fans, with only some of the shares paid to Bandcamp. Music style on the site ranges from garage punk bands, grime, singer-songwriters, and more. Shops for underground house, techno and electronic-focused labels and artists can be found there as well. Music lovers frequent the site for digital, vinyl pressings, and other merchandise. According to the website, “Fans have paid artists $230 million using Bandcamp, and $5.2 million in the last 30 days alone.” Bandcamp makes money through revenue share on sales: 15 percent for digital and 10 percent for merch.
According to a Bandcamp representative, “When we say we’re donating our share of the sales on Friday to the Transgender Law Center we mean that we’re simply choosing to do something different with our share (this does not affect artist revenues in any way, except perhaps to increase sales on Bandcamp generally).”
Friday’s fundraiser is in support of Bandcamp’s LGBTQ+ staff members and trans artists who express their passion and work on the site. For each sale made 100 percent of Bandcamp’s shares will go to the Transgender Law Center. As a non-profit organization the TLC has a stated mission to change “law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.” The organization’s core values resonate in justice, empowerment, self-determination, integrity, and fierce compassion for the rights of individuals. It does so through action by providing policy advocacy and litigation, healthcare assistance for trans veterans, providing support for trans youth and immigrants, as well as defending incarcerated trans people from abuse within prison and detention centers.
Director of Communications Jill Marcellus spoke a bit more in depth with Sequencer about the TLC. “We were founded in 2002 and are based in Oakland, Calif. and also have an office in Atlanta, GA.
Following the election, we launched our 2017 Plan of Resistance … We scaled up a lot of the work we were already doing: legal support, community training and organizing, policy advocacy, and public education. This included the launch of our Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE), the continuation of our impact litigation like our recent victory on behalf of trans student Ash Whitaker, our leadership development and storytelling work with trans youth and with trans people living with HIV through our TRUTH and Positively Trans programs, and the launch of our Legal and Community Resistance Networks expanding volunteer opportunities with the organization so we can harness community power to meet increased community need.”
If you’re looking to help the TLC directly, she says, “In addition to donations, we are looking for volunteers with our Community Resistance Network.”
To participate simply purchase music from Bandcamp on Friday, Aug. 4 from 3 a.m. – 3 a.m. (EST) or midnight – midnight (PST). Bandcamp is also encouraging artists/labels to donate some or all individual shares on Friday directly to the TLC.
For fans, consider saving any purchases you were going to make for Friday and help support trans rights. The list is innumerable and there is so much to explore, but if you’re new to Bandcamp here are just a few of Sequencer’s favorite underground artists and labels:
Argot / Tasteful Nudes
The Bunker NY
Austin Boogie Crew
Athens of the North
Gretta Cottage Workshop
Copenhagen Underground Posse
Also, check out this Trans Lib Comp Vol. 1, a collection of tracks by trans/gnc/nb artists mostly based in Chicago, Ill. such as Eris Drew, Red’s Garden, Riglow and more.
Trans rights are human rights.