We are writing to you in relation to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic which is having devastating effects on many people and communities across the globe. As a result of this pandemic, many trans people are dealing with very difficult circumstances – struggling with illness and healthcare systems that are overburdened and grappling with fear and anxiety. Trans people experience unique risks and challenges in a pandemic related to transphobia, discrimination and economic marginalization, which is often exacerbated by racism, xenophobia, poverty, disability and other intersections. As this public health crisis deepens, the ITF wants to express our support and solidarity with trans movements and our allies across the globe.
We also wanted to share some information about the measures we are taking:
- The ITF is continuing our work: As we already work remotely, we will continue to issue grant payments and support grantee partners. Our Grant Making Panel (GMP) is in the process of reviewing applications to the 4th grant cycle. We are supporting our staff, Steering Committee, GMP and grantee partners at this difficult time. All ITF travel has been suspended until further notice.
- The in-person GMP meeting is on hold: The GMP meeting where new grantee partners are selected was scheduled for June. This meeting is now on hold as we cannot in good conscience put the health and safety of our community at risk. While we monitor the situation, we are also looking at creative ways to allocate grants this year. Our intention is to stay on schedule and select grantee partners and disburse grants by August 2020.
- Flexible funding: As a funder, we understand that COVID-19 may require shifts in our grantee partners work and strategy. We recognize that certain programs, meetings or other grant activities may be cancelled or postponed. We stand ready to find flexibility in our grants to help grantee partners respond to these challenges wherever possible.
The ITF’s work matters now more than ever, and we are deeply committed to supporting trans-led groups in their efforts to build our movements and promote rights, health and wellbeing. Despite the challenges that we are facing, this is also an opportunity for us to reach out and connect with each other and our communities.
On behalf of all of us at the ITF, we send our best wishes for your health and security and stand in solidarity as you continue your crucial work.