Jonah Murray, president of the Finn’s Place board of directors
Finn’s Place community center for trans, gender diverse people in Tarrant County holds it first fundraising gala Saturday
TAMMYE NASH | Managing Editor
UPDATE: Pocahontas Crow with House of Rebirth has been added to the list of speakers for the Bee Yourself Gala.
It’s been a little more than a year since Finn’s Place officially opened its doors in Tarrant County, and this weekend the agency is holding its first big fundraising event, the Bee Yourself Gala.
The gala, that starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 27, is presented by the Gender Resource Office of Texas Christian University’s Student Affairs office, and is being held in the TCU Horned Frog Grand Ballroom, 2901 Stadium Drive in Fort Worth.
The event will be hosted by Tony Green and will feature keynote speaker Naomi Green and speaker Pocahontas Crow with House of Rebirth and performances by Deja DuBois and Jaime Esposito.
Tickets and sponsorships are still available, noted Finn’s Place Board of Directors President Jonah Murray.
“We will have speakers. We will have performers. We will have dinner, and there will be a silent auction,” Murray said. “This is our first fundraising event, and we are going to make it memorable.”
Finn’s Place, Murray explained, is Fort Worth’s only community center for transgender and gender diverse people. The organization first launched programming in April of 2022 under the umbrella of Galileo Christian Church.
“Galileo Christian Church is our parent organization, and right now we operate under the church’s 501(c)(3) status,” Murray said. “But we are working on getting our own nonprofit status in place. It’s important to note that even though our parent organization is a church, we [Finn’s Place] are not a religious space.”
He explained that the center is named after Finn S., a trans teen who began attending Galileo Church in 2014 and quickly became a much-beloved member of the congregation. Finn died unexpectedly in 2018.
Finn’s Place opened with help from Galileo Church — led by the Rev. Katie Hays as pastor and self-described as a “quirky church for spiritual refugees” — with a focus on being a safe place for trans and gender-diverse individuals who have, traditionally, had few such spaces.
Today, Murray said, “We are getting busier by the day. The services and the space we provide are so unique and so important. Bringing community together is really important for our physical and mental well-being.”
Proceeds from the Bee Yourself Gala will go toward supporting the various programs Finn’s Place offers, Murray said. “We have a number of partners — community organizations and service providers and businesses — who use our space to help our community. For instance, we pay a yoga teacher to come once a month to lead yoga classes here. We offer gender-affirming haircuts through Acute Salon.”
Finn’s Place also brings in service providers to facilitate support groups not just for trans and gender-diverse people but for their parents, family members and friends, as well. The center has a library and also provides all the necessary supplies for those who want to participate in the regular arts and crafts events offered there.
“Everything that goes into being a community center — we offer it all,” Murray said.
While the location of Finn’s Place is not a secret — you can easily find it on the website — those who operate the center prefer not to widely publicize the address, simply to keep the potential for confrontations at a minimum. The center’s programs, activities and events are all publicized on its social media pages, Murray said.
While Finn’s Place officials are always happy to welcome new businesses, organizations and individuals who want to partner with the center in some capacity, Murray said they are also careful not to let in any enemies trying to disguise themselves as allies.
“Everyone is welcome to attend our programs and events,” he said. “But there is an application process for those who want to partner with us or host an event at Finn’s Place.”
Because the most important part of being a safe space is being safe.
Tickets and sponsorships for the Bee Yourself Gala are still available and start at $100. For more information, to purchase a ticket or to become a sponsor, visit the Bee Yourself Gala page at EventBrite.com.