Microgrants

Microgrants provide trans and nonbinary people with low-barrier funds and support to correct names and/or gender markers on identifying legal documents, access trans health care, and supply necessities for our trans siblings behind bars.

$832,637

$635,445

given to trans people for IDs

$102,954

$347,296

given to incarcerated trans people

$102,954

Name Change Microgrants will reopen February 1st, 2022!
Community-based Name Change Support
Trans Lifeline’s Name Change Microgrants are currently closed and will reopen February 1st, 2022. While the application was paused, we distributed $68,500 to the following partners to provide name change assistance to trans people:

  • Metro Trans Umbrella Group, St. Louis
  • Transformative Justice Law Project, Illinois
  • Real Name Campaign, New Orleans
  • Louisiana Trans Advocates, Louisiana

We selected our partners based on geographic areas historically underserved by Microgrants, where trans resources may be limited.

Trans Migrant Partnership Program
Our Trans Migrant Partnership Program partners with organizations who provide direct services to trans migrants. In 2021, we distributed $41,000 to these organizations to disburse $1000 microgrants directly to trans migrants to support immigration costs including: Updating names and/or gender markers on identifying immigration documents, and legal fees during immigration and asylum process.
  • Trans Asylum Seeker’s Network
  • Santa Fe Dreamers Project

Name Change Microgrants

Reopens February 1st, 2022

1-4 Weeks

Approximate Name Change Microgrant Processing Time (after applying)

Get Reminded

via email when the Next Name Change Microgrant cycle opens (subscribe here)

Types of Microgrants

Funding for:

  • Court-ordered legal name and/or gender marker change
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Tribal ID

Eligibility:

  • Identify as trans and/or nonbinary
  • Be a US resident
  • Not have applied before

How to apply:

We are not able to offer assistance for:

  • Birth certificates in most situations
  • Housing
  • Medical costs
  • Non-US residents & non-US documents

Details:

  • Open from the 1st through the 14th of each month
  • Lottery system (applications selected randomly from the pool each month)
  • An average of 55 grants distributed per month
  • Amount disbursed covers full cost of local court and document fees
  • 75% of Microgrants each cycle are reserved for trans BIPOC

Funding for:

  • Commissary deposits for trans people who are incarcerated
  • Name and gender marker changes on documents for trans people who are incarcerated

Eligibility:

  • Identify as trans and/or nonbinary
  • Currently incarcerated in the US (city or county jail, immigration detention, juvenile detention, state or federal prison)

Details:

  • $500 Microgrant per person, per year
  • Note: Family, friends, and advocates can apply on behalf of a trans person on the inside
  • Apply as needed, as long as funds allow
  • Alert will post each year when funds are no longer available

How to apply:

Send a letter via postal mail requesting a Post-Release Microgrant that includes your name, committed name, age, pronouns, inmate ID number, address, payment method, and instructions for deposit to:

Trans Lifeline – Inside Advocacy
195 41st St #11253, Oakland, CA 94611

Funds & Resources:

  • Housing & basic reentry needs
  • Localized packets with connections to services, providers, & trans community.

Eligibility:

  • Identify as trans and/or nonbinary
  • Formerly incarcerated in the US (city or county jail, immigration detention, juvenile detention, state or federal prison)
  • Must have been released within the past year.

Details:

  • $1500 Post-Release Microgrants
  • Family, friends, and advocates can apply on behalf of a trans person on the inside nearing a release date
  • Prior recipients are not eligible to reapply
  • Distributed as needed, as long as funds allow
  • Alert will post when funds are no longer available

How to apply:

  • Send a letter via postal mail requesting a Post-Release Microgrant that includes your name, committed name, age, pronouns, inmate ID number, address, payment method, and instructions for deposit to:

    Trans Lifeline – Inside Advocacy
    195 41st St #11253, Oakland, CA 94611

Funds & resources:

  • 1 year of HRT 100% covered, or 2 years of HRT 50% covered through vouchers from Folx Health
  • 75% of vouchers will go to BIPOC as per our equity policy
  • Learn more here

Eligibility:

  • Identify as trans and/or nonbinary
  • 18 or older
  • Must be located in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan**, New Jersey**, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania**, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, or Wisconsin
    • **at this time only estrogen memberships are available in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (no testosterone memberships)

Details:

  • 1 year of HRT 100% covered, or 2 years of HRT 50% covered through vouchers from Folx Health. View available plans here
  • Grant cycle will open quarterly: 3/1 (24 vouchers), 6/1 (35 vouchers), 9/1 (29 vouchers), 12/1 (21 vouchers)

How to apply:

  • The 2021 granting cycle is now complete and the application is closed.

FAQs

The Name Change Microgrant application cycle will reopen on February 1st, 2022.

It will reopen every month on the 1st and close every month on the 14th.

HRT Microgrants opened quarterly in 2021. The final cycle was Dec 1.

We accept and process an average of 55 applications per month.

Name Change Microgrants cover all the required fees pertaining to court-ordered name changes. They cover corrections and updates on passports, driver’s licenses, state IDs, and Tribal IDs. They do not cover birth certificates unless it restricts you from accessing documents that are covered, or your birth certificate was issued in the same state as where you currently live.

  • In order to access the Name Change Microgrant application, visit this page when the application cycle opens next.
  • If you’re already on the application page, it will not automatically appear at opening time. Please refresh the page.
  • The application will remain open for 2 weeks – there is no time crunch to complete it.
  • The application will ask for your name, location, demographic information, and contact information.
  • Once you submit your application, you’re entered in our pool of applicants for that cycle.
  • On the 15th of each month, our system will randomly select 55 applications (on average) to process.
  • If your application is selected, it will be assigned to a trans team member who will contact you to discuss:
– Which documents you would like a Microgrant for
– The fees associated with updating those documents
– Information about local requirements and resources
Requests for any additional identifying information
  • Once your application has been approved and you have all of the information you need, we’ll disburse your funds.
  • You may keep applying once per month until your application is selected. The pool of applicants is very large, and we come nowhere near meeting the need for this resource – so you may end up applying many times.
  • Please refer to the top of the Microgrants page for current processing time estimates.
(If you receive an error message or your application crashes, contact us.)

75% of Name Change Microgrants per month are reserved for TBIPOC (trans Black, Indigenous, people of color).

Our new lottery process means that the applications selected each month are completely random, and no longer first-come first-serve.

If our internal systems flag an application as potentially fraudulent, we reserve the right to ask for additional information in order to process that application. If an applicant is not able to meet that request, we reserve the right to not disburse a microgrant.

We trust our community’s ability to self-identify when it comes to gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, and ability.

Microgrant recipients receive peer support on name/gender marker change requirements and paperwork specific to your state, county, and situation.

Within 2 weeks, so no later than the 1st of the following month.

We disburse Name Change Microgrants in the form of personal checks by mail, or via Cashapp.

We trust trans people to use your Microgrant as needed. We do not require any receipts or documentation.

We offer Microgrants to trans minors. Please complete the application, and include your age so we can be best prepared to help you. In most states, minors are able to change their name and/or gender marker with approval from their guardian(s).

If a minor cannot get approval from a guardian (in the form of their signature and/or attending the court hearing), it still may be possible, and we can help you find legal assistance. If you have any other questions, contact [email protected]

Name Change Microgrants are available to anyone regardless of citizenship status or geographic location, but at this time we are only able to fund US documents.

Microgrant applications and information are kept confidential. Staff and volunteers will not share their personal contact information with microgrant recipients.

Trans Lifeline is committed to combating racism, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, xenophobia, ableism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, classism and other oppressive structures.

Trans Lifeline does not tolerate harassment, bigoted commentary, verbal abuse or debates of issues affecting our communities; Any applicant abusing staff, volunteers, or the program will not receive a microgrant and will be blocked from applying for funds.

Still have a question we didn’t answer? Contact us.

HRT Microgrants x FOLX Health

Folx Health is providing 100 microgrants for at least 1 year of free or reduced HRT via Trans Lifeline through their HRT Care Fund. The 2021 granting cycle is now complete.

Lack of access to trans health care and medical discrimination deeply impact our community, and we are honored to support 100 of our trans siblings in getting that necessary care this year.

Microgrants’ mission is to alleviate financial barriers for trans folks through economic redistribution strategies. We believe that free, trans-inclusive universal health care is necessary to close the gap of access to trans care, rather than self-pay models. When it’s not possible to change the cost of care directly, we provide resources to buffer the impact of those costs.

Our hope is that this collaboration influences how companies do business by shifting funds from for-profit corporations directly to trans people, with racial equity and mutual aid at the forefront.

Inside Advocacy: Supporting Trans Siblings Behind Bars

Inside Advocacy Alert: All Commissary & Post-Release Microgrants funds have been distributed for 2021. New applications are not currently being accepted.

Trans Lifeline’s Inside Advocacy project provides financial aid and local resources to trans people that are currently incarcerated or have been recently released—ranging from Commissary Microgrants for hygiene products, stamps, and food, to Post-Release Microgrants for rent and other needs.

Trans people, especially Black trans people, face disproportionate rates of arrest and often endure mistreatment, lack of access to medications or gender-appropriate facilities, and physical and sexual trauma while incarcerated. We support prison abolition and until these violent institutions are dismantled, we will continue working to uplift and empower those still inside by offering tangible support.

Inside Advocacy is created and directed by trans people who have been directly impacted by the carceral state. Our annual Holiday Commissary Campaign partners with organizations fighting injustice and advocating for our community on the inside.

Annual Holiday Commissary Campaign

$287,602 given directly to our incarcerated trans siblings

On Christmas day, several federal prisons waive the restitution & fees on commissary deposits, which allows our annual partners to directly give to folks on the inside, rather than to prisons. All funds raised by Trans Lifeline’s Holiday Commissary Campaign are directly distributed to trans people by our partner organizations.

For our 2020 fundraiser, in response to global Black uprisings, our Holiday Commissary Fundraiser included supporting Black-led organizations mobilizing bail funds for trans people. It’s our hope that this shift honors the innovative, grassroots, rapid-response organizing work happening on the ground in communities that have been on the frontlines of over-policing for generations.