Evana Enabulele is the housing coordinator for Queer the Land — "a collaborative project grounded in the self-determination of queer, trans, and two-spirit Black/Indigenous/People of color and the vision of collectively owning our land and labor."
The group bought a house in Beacon Hill that they're currently renovating which will serve as a community center and house a co-op. QT2BIPOC folks will be able to seek transitional and permanent housing on-site as well as access a food pantry and other programming.
Yesterday we chatted with Evana for our series "Have a drink with" which you can watch here. Read on for our Q&A with Evana to find about Queer the Land's upcoming events this weekend and what their hidden gem in Seattle is.
Tell us what you do and also how you got into it.
I help run the housing circle for Queer the Land. We create housing applications, processes and are currently trying to fill the role of a housing manager. I assist with finding contractors, fostering community partnerships, budgeting for the house. During the pandemic, my role pivoted as did the housing circle’s because our community needed resources.
I got into this work because I knew that if I wanted to get into organizing again, after traumatizing experiences, that I wanted to be in a group that was fulfilling. And QTL is that for me. Months before I took on the role, I was experiencing a lot of housing issues myself and had a hard time asking for help. Joining QTL really changed my outlook on what community was and how to ask for help. It was so hard to receive care and have people continuously check up on me.
I joined the group because I felt accepted. I was a sex worker for five years, and with QTL, that wasn't something that I had to hide or not discuss casually as if it wasn't part of my life. I left the community because I felt like what I was doing was wrong or just shocking to people. For me, it was for survival, and I finally felt seen.
What's your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part is giving back to our community and how well the housing circle works together. I reflect often on this feeling that I'm part of something that is much bigger than me and that will make a long-lasting impact on my community.
What's your favorite hidden gem in Seattle?
Martha Washington Beach. My friends and I go swimming a lot and I was recently introduced to it and loved it. It's very secluded.
Where are two places you'd take an out-of-town guest?
Aha well, a lot of times, it's my family from the south visiting and they always want to see the Space Needle.
I’d also typically take a guest to some sort of body of water, I work in Parks and Rec so I have a lot of options to choose from. But I usually frequent Lake Washington and there is a very private cove that is a hidden gem that not many people know about along with Coleman Beach. I love to swim. I love the quiet side of Alki.
If you were to give a piece of advice to a newcomer to Seattle, what would it be?
That Seattle is expensive as hell. But if you're able to put yourself out there and find community, it's easier to navigate spaces, and find what landlords to dodge and the resources that are out there. Also, Grocery Outlet is your friend.
If you could change anything about Seattle, what would it be?
Affordable housing. It is hot garbage.
Who or what are five Seattle people or organizations more people should know about?
Mattie Mooney (Ingersoll Gender Center), Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, Green Light Project, Surge Reproductive Justice, Liberation Medical School
Anything else you'd like to share about your work/business? (Any upcoming events or ways people can support you!)
We're having our 5th anniversary tomorrow. This will be at Coleman Beach at 3:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome!
And then we're hosting a gardening day work party on Sunday, August 1st.
Learn more about Queer the Land on their website and how to support their work. They're also on Instagram under @Queertheland.