Microgrants

75% of name change Microgrants go to trans BIPOC to dismantle barriers caused by white supremacy. Learn more about our Equity Policy.

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

$635,445

$635,445

$635,445

given to trans people for IDs

$102,954

$102,954

given to incarcerated trans people

Until The Next Name Change Grant Cycle Opens

3-6 Weeks

Current Name Change Microgrant Processing Time

Get Reminded

When The Next Name Change Grant Cycle Is Open

COVID ALERT- Passports: Processing is significantly delayed, though it is still possible to apply. Many passport offices are closed – so if you must apply in person (including changing a gender marker), research other locations to apply (like a post office).
COVID ALERT- Social Security: Check here to see if you’re eligible for an in-person appointment. Contacting your local office to check the status of processing corrections, and ask what they need you to send in, especially when changing your gender marker with SSA.

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:

  • Apply here when cycle opens
  • Application cycle opens twice a 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
  • Sign up for email reminders when application cycles open

We are not able to offer assistance for:

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

Details: 

  • 48 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:

  • $400 – $600 Microgrants 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 requesting a Commissary Microgrant with your name, prisoner number, and address to:

Trans Lifeline – Inside Advocacy
195 41st St #11253
Oakland, CA 94611-9991

or:

Email Inside Advocacy requesting a Commissary Microgrant with your name, prisoner number, and address.

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 or email requesting a Post-Release Microgrant with your name, prisoner number (if currently incarcerated), and address to:

    Trans Lifeline – Inside Advocacy
    195 41st St #11253
    Oakland, CA 94611-9991

Email Inside Advocacy requesting a Commissary Microgrant with your name, prisoner number, and address

In 2020, Trans Lifeline distributed $24,000 for Immigration Documents Microgrants. These funds are not currently available. Updates are coming soon for the future of this program in 2021.

FAQ’s

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.

We provide microgrants to trans people of any age.

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

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.

We provide microgrants to trans people of any age.

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]

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

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]

Microgrant recipients receive peer support on requirements and paperwork specific to your state, county, and situation.

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.

When Immigration Document Microgrants are available, please see that section for more information.

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

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

Our current funds allow us to process 48 applications per month. Our team works hard to reduce processing times, since we know waiting for urgent needs is stressful. Please call our Hotline if you’d like to talk to a trans peer who can support you through this time.

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

Inside Advocacy: Supporting Trans Siblings Behind Bars

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 Re-Entry 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.

Holiday Commissary Campaign

$80,285 give 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.

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