(Last updated June 2023)
Trans Lifeline is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering direct emotional and financial support and advocacy for trans people. We are for the trans community, by the trans community.
Before you access our support and resources, we want you to understand how we handle the information you share with us. This policy aims to explain how we collect, store, protect, and use the data generated by our services and operations.
Description and Terms of Service
Our Hotline is a peer support phone line operated by and for trans and trans-questioning people in English and Spanish in the United States and Canada. When you call our Hotline, you will be connected to a trans operator trained to offer peer support and community resources. We do not offer professional health care, mental health treatment, psychiatric care, therapy, or chat/text-based services. We also do not use any Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), predictive risk assessment tools, or automated services on our Hotline.
We do not require Hotline callers to provide personally identifying information they do not wish to provide, including names, phone numbers, locations, or demographic information. However, in certain situations, callers may choose to share this information. We may ask for an email address to send specific resources, but callers are under no obligation to provide one.
Unlike many crisis hotlines, we do not use geolocation tools or call tracing on any Hotline calls, so we cannot identify your location. This means we can only send emergency services to you if you provide your operator with an exact location. We do not partner with any municipal, state, or federal emergency responders; and do not allow non-consensual intervention by police or emergency services. We will never call 911, police, or emergency services on your behalf unless we receive your explicit verbal informed consent. Learn more about how we approach obtaining your informed consent.
Trans Lifeline reserves the right to ban callers for the use of hate speech, discrimination, sexual harassment, pranks, or verbally abusing operators. Any caller who abuses the line may be blocked from calling again. Bans cannot be appealed.
Our Microgrants provide trans people with low-barrier funds and support to correct names and gender markers on identifying legal documents and supply necessities for our trans siblings behind bars. For more information, see our types of Microgrants and our equity policy.
Our website is a community resource that provides and collects information in accordance with our principles.
We may use our website to solicit voluntary feedback and stories from our users about our Services and their experiences navigating crisis services.
You may receive an initial email after you sign up for our newsletter or by opting into our newsletter when filling out a form on our website. You may stop receiving or change how you receive these messages here.
We may also communicate with you in response to your requests via our comment form.
Trans Lifeline hosts the Peer2Peer.Live platform, which is an opt-in discoverability tool for marginalized streamers and viewers to find each other through robust identity-based tagging.
The data we collect varies based on how you access our services and what information you provide. We have organized that data into the categories below, with full details regarding how we collect, store, protect, and use it.
Hotline Recordings & Records
When you call the Hotline, we create a recording and a record of your call. A call “recording” refers solely to the audio of the Hotline call. A call “record” refers to all other data collected in association with the Hotline call: the date and time of the call, the operator, the length of the call, call tags, and call notes. We use these separate terms intentionally, as retention and access to recordings and records differ.
Call Recordings Retention & Security
The call recording for each hotline call is an audio recording from the moment of caller-operator connection to the moment of call termination. All call recordings are encrypted, and are only accessible to our Quality Assurance, Tech, and Leadership teams. Leadership will only access calls in the case of internal investigations. Call recordings are deleted after 90 days, after which they are no longer accessible. We do not share any call recordings with any third-parties.
Call Records Retention & Security
The call record is a combination of objective information automatically collected regarding the call (date and time of occurrence, length, and call number) and information manually entered by an operator (“call tags” and “call notes”). Hotline operators select tags (“call tags”) topically based on information that you verbally provide over the duration of your call, as well as a short description of the call (“call notes”). Examples of tags include “housing,” “medical discrimination,” “family rejection,” and demographics (race, gender, age). Operators will never ask you for identifying information or tag your call based on assumptions (e.g. your operator will not assume your gender based on the sound of your voice; your gender will only be tagged if you choose to disclose it). Generalized call tags and descriptions may be used for research or fundraising purposes, but any information will be aggregated and not linked to any personally identifiable caller information.
All call records are only accessible to the operator who took the call and our Quality Assurance, Tech, and Leadership teams. Leadership will only access calls in the case of internal investigations. Call records are deleted after five years, after which they are no longer accessible. Aggregate data about calls may be kept for Trans Lifeline’s records, but this will not be tied to individual records or retain personally identifying information.
Hotline Personally-Identifying Information
All Hotline callers’ and operators’ phone numbers and Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses are anonymized for community safety. This means an operator will never be able to access your phone number or IP address, and you will never be able to access an operator’s phone number or IP address.
Callers’ exact locations are not known to or shared by Trans Lifeline and our Hotline operators. As such, they can not be shared internally or with third parties.
Aggregated area codes from caller phone numbers may be used for topical reporting (e.g., Crisis calls from Texas increased the month anti-trans legislation was introduced). Still, callers’ locations are not available to Trans Lifeline.
Your phone number and IP address can only be accessed by our Tech and Leadership teams, and will only be accessed during internal investigations.
During a call, if you choose to share your email address with an operator to receive resources, that email address will only be available to the operator you are speaking with. Any resources will come from an anonymous no-reply email associated with Trans Lifeline. Your email address will be deleted after the resource-containing email is sent.
Microgrants Personally-Identifying Information
When you apply for a Name Change Microgrant, Gender Affirming Hair Removal (GAHR) MIcrogrant, Trans Migrant Grant, Commissary Microgrant, or Post-Release Microgrant, we may collect your preferred name, legal name, basic demographic information, email address, phone number, age, whether or not you have a criminal record (self-reported), state, county, and city of residence.
In order to process your payment, we will need to ask for your bank information or other deposit information. We securely store the information you submit in your application and any financial information we collect and do not share any personally identifying information with any third-parties.
During your use of our website, we automatically collect data such as your IP address, Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) data, referring/exit pages, date/time stamp, and click data. We may use, or allow a third-party to use, this information to better reach and serve those who interact with our website.
We keep a record of donor giving history for tax purposes. All information shared with us for donations, such names, amounts, email addresses, and phone numbers are stored securely. We maintain a secure opt-in email list of our supporters and donors in order to communicate news, service, updates, fundraising opportunities, and advocacy efforts. You can change your preferences or unsubscribe at any time here.
Any donor information received by these platforms is stored securely. We do not share our donor records with any third-party except to analyze giving patterns, make budget projections, and solicit future donations.
Release of Information
While we have a strict policy against non-consensual intervention and information sharing, we reserve the right to report any call containing credible threats of violence to others and to comply with laws regarding suspected child abuse and neglect. See a description of state laws requiring reporting of child abuse and neglect here.
When reporting a call, we may be required to provide the caller’s name, address, contact information, and further details pertaining to the particular threat of violence. Because our services are confidential and anonymous, we may not have the adequate identifying information to make a report. However, if a caller voluntarily discloses any identifying information such as name, date of birth, location/address, or phone number, these may be included in the report.
We will only provide call recordings and records when complying with a subpoena. Our vendor, Twilio, may also release information to law enforcement. Please see their policy for more information.
We may use, or allow a third-party researcher to use, tag data to create and publish aggregate, anonymized statistics and metrics (e.g. “We’ve seen a 30% increase this month in calls about domestic violence”). Your name, other personal identifiers, and individual call content will never be shared with third-parties or identified in these statistics and metrics.
We may collect voluntary feedback and stories from our users. These requests obtain user written consent in anonymized forms, and do not require names or personally identifying information. We may use, or allow a third-party researcher to use this information to create and publish aggregate, anonymized statistics and metrics (e.g. “0% of callers to Trans Lifeline experienced a non-consensual active rescue”). Your name or other personally identifying information will never be identified in aggregate information.
Any additional use and sharing of information gathered through promotions and newsletters will be disclosed to you before your participation.
While we use secure platforms for the services we provide, we do not guarantee, represent or warrant that your use of our services will not expose you to data breach. You are assuming the risk of your information being potentially breached and you are holding Trans Lifeline harmless from any liability arising out of such data breach.
If you have any questions about these Terms of Service or Privacy Policies please contact us here.