November 23, 2022

EP. 292 — ICYMI: How Can We Show Up For Mutual Aid? with Dean Spade

This holiday season, we’re inviting Getting Curious listeners to reflect on what it means to be in community. In that spirit, we’re re-releasing a conversation about mutual aid with the writer and activist Dean Spade. Mutual aid is all about meeting people’s survival needs at a local level, and building sustained, decentralized, compassionate support networks. We encourage you to take a listen to Dean and Jonathan’s conversation, then take some time to learn about—and get involved in—mutual aid initiatives in your community.

Dean Spade has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He’s the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, the director of the documentary “Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!,” and the creator of the mutual aid toolkit at His latest book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next), was published by Verso Press in October 2020.

You can follow Dean on Instagram @spade.dean and Twitter @deanspade.

Want to take action but not sure where to start? Here are some resources Dean recommends:

Shit’s Totally FUCKED! What Can We Do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer


What is Mutual Aid? (Classroom Version)


Workshop Series: Building Capacity for Mutual Aid Groups


Truthout’s Movement Memos: Dean Spade Is Asking Activists, “How Much Bolder Could You Be?”


And if you’re curious about Dean’s work beyond mutual aid, check out how he approaches the romance myth from a feminist, radical perspective:


New Romance Webinar: Dismantling the Cycle of Romance

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.


Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Transcripts for each episode are available at


Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.


Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Dean Spade JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. And before we dive into this very special episode, can I just say: thank you so much. I love you all so much. Thank you for learning with me, thank you for tuning in week after week and supporting our work on Getting Curious. We love you, we appreciate you. Thank you for sharing our work. Just, like, from the bottom of my big queer heart: thank you. I see you and I love you. This week, we’re re-airing one of our most impactful episodes, all about mutual aid. We encourage you to take a listen and then take some time to learn about mutual aid initiatives in your community. Then take another second and maybe share this episode with someone who has not heard Getting Curious yet. Without further ado, here’s our conversation with D

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