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 necessities for our trans siblings behind bars.

$804,723

$635,445

given to trans people for IDs

$102,954

$197,347

given to incarcerated trans people

$102,954

Name Change Microgrants are closed until January 31, 2022. Read more about why we’re pausing!
Community-based Name Change Support
Trans Lifeline’s Name Change Microgrants are currently closed until further notice (at least through September). During this time, we have supported the following partners with $48,500 so far (pledged 56,500) 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’ve pledged $24,000 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

Closed until further notice

1-4 Weeks

Approximate Name Change Microgrant Processing Time (after applying)

Get Reminded

via email when the Next Name Change Microgrant cycle opens

Types of Microgrants

Funding for:

  • Court order legal name and/or gender marker change
  • Passport
  • Drivers 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
  • Housing
  • Medical costs
  • Non-US residents & non-US documents

Details:

  • Paused until further notice
  • 44 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 & 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, & 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 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, & 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 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
  • The final cycle opens at 11am PT on December 1st at the top of this page
  • 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, 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 (24 vouchers), 12/1 (28 vouchers)

How to apply:

  • Applications open on December 1st for 28 vouchers for 1 year of free HRT from Folx Health. 75% of Microgrants are reserved for BIPOC. Link will be available here at 11am PST / 2pm EST.

FAQs

The Name Change Microgrant application cycle opens twice per month, on the 1st and 15th at the times below:

1st of each month: 9:00am Pacific / 12:00pm Eastern

15th of each month: 3:00pm Pacific / 6:00pm Eastern

HRT Microgrants open quarterly. The final cycle is Dec 1.

We currently accept and process 48 Name Change Microgrant applications per month, 24 per cycle.

Name Change Microgrants cover all the required fees pertaining to court order name changes, publication fees, and document fees. They cover passports, drivers licenses, state IDs, and Tribal IDs. They do not cover birth certificates unless it restricts you from accessing documents that are covered.

  • 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.
  • Applications fill up quickly (usually within one minute).
  • If the application is full, you’ll see the text: “We’re sorry, our Name Change Microgrants application cycle is currently full and has closed.”
  • If there are open slots, the application opens and asks for your name, location, documents you need updating, demographic information, and contact information.
  • Once you submit your application, you’re entered in our queue to receive a Microgrant.
  • Your application is 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, we’ll disburse your funds.
  • 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.)

32 (75%) Name Change Microgrants per month are reserved for TBIPOC (trans Black, Indigenous, people of color). Microgrants are granted on a first-come come first serve basis within this equity framework.

Successfully submitting an application does not guarantee that you will receive a microgrant. Microgrants will not ask its applicants to engage in extensive identity-verification processes that could be dysphoria-inducing.

If our internal systems flag an application as potentially fraudulent, we reserve the right to ask for additional information in order to process an 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 requirements and paperwork specific to your state, county, and situation.

Our team works hard to reduce processing times, since we know waiting for urgent needs is stressful. Current wait times are 3-6 weeks. Please call our Hotline if you’d like to talk to a trans peer who can support you during this time.

We disburse Name Change Microgrants in the form of personal checks by mail, or via PayPal or 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 applications, 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 though their HRT Care Fund. The application opens quarterly, and the next application opens December 1st, 2021 at 11am PT.

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

$167,561 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.