Trans Lifeline's Microgrants program was created to provide access to funds for all trans and nonbinary people for the purpose of changing names and gender markers on our federal and state ID documents. Ultimately, we believe that trans people should not have to pay fees or spend countless hours - that cis people do not - for accurate, necessary documents. Our goal was to create a program that made it possible for our community to access these funds through a first-come, first-serve application - no questions asked.
However, TBIPOC (Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities within our organization and broader community have shown us how this structure reinforced white supremacy. It puts the onus on grantees to overcome hardships imposed upon them by an unjust world. This approach unjustly increased barriers to TBIPOC communities by utilizing an equality framework that assumes everyone will benefit from the same level of support, as opposed to equitably providing support.
An equity based process addresses the failures of disparate levels of privilege and access caused by colonialism, white supremacy, ableism, and transmisogyny by prioritizing the needs of those who have been the intended targets of these systems.
We hope to address this failure by establishing processes prioritizing racial equity, and adjusting support to prioritize the people in our communities who face the most barriers to economic justice.
Beginning June 1st, our Microgrants program will:
- Reserve 75% of microgrants for TBIPOC to structurally account for our intersecting identities
- Increase outreach efforts to organizations serving TBIPOC in geographic areas historically underserved by Microgrants
Ultimately, it is an honor to do the work of redistributing funds to our community, and it is imperative that we do so in a way that acknowledges the continuing impact of white supremacy. We’re grateful for the opportunity to transform and be transformed by our community as we deepen our commitment to the larger fight for trans racial and economic justice and liberation.
The Microgrants Team