Trans Justice Funding Project: Trusting and Supporting Trans Leadership

What do we fund? Who do we fund? What do we fund and who do we fund? Who and what? The Trans Justice Funding Project I think at the root is essentially about trusting and supporting trans leadership Trans Justice Funding Project funds grassroots groups and organzations with budgets of 250,000 and under who are established or not established and sometimes its a group and sometimes its a project but its general operations funding because we felt like the groups know what they need best so they tell us. We don’t put any restrictions on it We don’t require reporting we trust these groups to do the work that they say they are doing The work that we are doing everyone in their communities, it’s hard work and LGBTQ communities, they don’t get funded We bring people together to do grant making and this is only been around for a short period of time we have a long way to go, but what has happened is that we’ve brought together a really diverse group of people, many who have never sat in the same room many who have never sat at the table to make these kind of decisions and it is an incredible learning process as we read through the applications we learn more about groups and work thats happening around the country that I don’t think we’d otherwise would have known, so in some respect its almost like we are able to map transjustice in a way that I haven’t ever seen before The Trans Justice Funding Project is seeking to ensure that by giving money to the places that are least likely to fit the bill, to fit the really tight and narrow and binary system of funding those are precisely the places that we want to leverage funding at and as such we are trying to address the root causes of the way that racism outplays in the world and in the queer movement, and also within trans communities we are also trying to ensure that we are making the trans women in general and trans women of color in particular are being respected and their needs are being centered we are trying to ensure that cross class collaboration is central and the immigration that trans folk who are living the reality of what it means to navigate a life where deportation is a frightening and brutalizing reality in our world as trans people those too are folks who should get money even as they would not necessarily recieved money in other ways I’d say something that we really value is that there is no one way that trans justice looks trans justice looks a lot of different ways it looks and thrives differently based on your experience, your location I think what we’ve learned by reading so many applications over the last couple of years is that for some people that means writing letters to people who are incarcerated who are trans or gender non conforming for some people it is a support group that might be the only thing in town that might be the most important thing in town people being able to connect with each other for some other people, policy wins it means having a network a trans network around the country but there is no one way to do it. We’ve got a lot of strategies. Well and the beauty of it is that we recognize that people are choosing a strategy that work best for their communities, for whats going on where they are we don’t know whats happening where you are tell us whats going on and why thats inspired you to do the work you do. when you are doing local funding, its different everywhere and people should have the trust from the funder that they can choose the strategies that work for them. Projects like this that don’t just look at deliverables, don’t just look at how many people came into the room but who came into the room are so critical and so I personally feel blessed to be in spaces like this where we are funding work that addresses the entire trans community.

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