Statement of Purpose
Cicada Collective is a queer and trans people of color centered organization that aims to provide access to reproductive resources and address the immediate needs of our red-state and southern communities. We aim do this by facilitating knowledge shares, collaborating with other organizations, and providing practical abortion support (transportation, lodging, and doula services) in North Texas and elsewhere in the state and region.
Why We Do It
We hope to increase accessibility for the communities most often restricted from these resources, with the understanding that people’s varied experiences with reproductive oppression and resistance shape the type of support they need. These communities include but are not limited to: working class people of color, people with both visible and invisible disabilities, undocumented, incarcerated, or criminalized people, sex workers, gender and sexual minorities (queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people), legal minors, and those individuals at the intersections of some or many of these marginalized identities. We strive to draw from our sense of place to act in solidarity with those in our area, hoping to strengthen these pathways of resistance. We aim to work with other organizers in resource sparse regions on building paths to accessible reproductive and bodily autonomy by encouraging a culture shift towards centering the experiences of queer and trans people of color in intersectional movement work.
How We Do It
Cicada Collective began in Denton, TX through a desire to provide wider access to reproductive healthcare and information. As a hub of conservatism and outdated views on health, the state of Texas has a dark history of creating legislative barriers to reproductive healthcare. The recent passage of HB2–a bill that bans abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, requires that any doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and enforces excessive standards on abortion-providing clinics that will likely close all but five in Texas–proved that the state would do anything to prevent access to abortions and other necessary reproductive healthcare. In response to this dearth in healthcare access, a group of organizers joined in one Denton living room to hash out a plan of action. In our meetings, we discussed the definition of reproductive justice, the meaning of community, activism in a red state, and visions of true accessibility.
Cicadas are a part of our experience living in Texas. They begin their life journey as an egg that is deposited in a groove in a tree limb, feeding on the trees fluids. When the egg hatches and the cicada is ready, it falls to the ground where it finds roots to feed on. Once rooted, it will stay underground from 2 to 17 years. Then they tunnel out of the earth, shed their skins, and emerge as adults. We view ourselves and our communities as cicadas, rooted in the area we inhabit, and growing together to form healthy, strong connections. Cicadas are also known to sing loudly, embodying the voices of those resisting on a daily basis, growing stronger in numbers each season. Listening to the clicking of the cicadas’ tymbals, we imagined a decade beneath the earth, and the excitement, the fear, and the freshness of finally emerging above the surface. We dared to do the same.