Month: June 2023

7th Grant Cycle Update

We are thrilled to share an exciting update on our 7th grant cycle. This cycle has seen an overwhelming response, with a total of 314 eligible applications received from 5 regions around the world. The total funding requested by eligible applicants this cycle is $8.07 million.

Here’s a breakdown of the applications received from each region:

  • Africa & West Asia: 109 applications
  • Eastern Europe & Central Asia: 33 applications
  • East, South, Southeast Asia & the Pacific: 50 applications
  • Latin America & the Caribbean: 72 applications
  • USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Canada: 49 applications

To ensure accessibility and inclusivity, we accept applications in multiple languages. This cycle saw applications submitted in English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese, enabling groups from diverse countries to access funding opportunities.

Among the eligible applications, 252 were submitted for the SEED grant. The SEED grant offers one-year general support and/or project funding for trans-led organizations that have never been funded by the ITF, or former grantee partners that prefer to apply for this grant instead of the THRIVE grant. The grant amounts range from $10,000 to $25,000 USD per year.

Additionally, we received 61 applications for the THRIVE grant, which specifically caters to trans-led organizations previously funded by the ITF and currently in good standing. The THRIVE grant provides one-year general support funding, with grant amounts ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 USD.

 ITF Staff Meeting on June 8th

Our team continues to work closely with the members of the Grant Making Panel (GMP) to facilitate the selection process. We are pleased to inform you that the GMP has successfully completed the scoring process for all applications. The GMP will convene at the end of June to select the grantee partners for the 7th cycle.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to advancing trans rights globally. We look forward to sharing more updates with you as we progress further in the grant cycle.

Trans Youth Initiative Uganda Statement

On May 29, 2023, a significant setback occurred for the transgender and gender diverse community in Uganda when President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 into law. The Act, which had been initially passed by parliament on March 21, 2023, was subsequently returned to the house by President Museveni. Despite his initial request for reconsideration, the revised version of the legislation, passed by Parliament on May 2, 2023, retained numerous oppressive provisions, including severe punishments such as life imprisonment or even death. This Act criminalizes any sexual acts between adults of the same biological sex, posing a significant risk to transgender and gender-diverse individuals in Uganda, many of whom have only undergone social transition and are particularly vulnerable to hate crimes, violence, and harassment.

The law also criminalizes advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, thereby posing a threat to organizations engaged in trans human rights advocacy or health assistance programs. As TYI-Uganda, we are deeply concerned about the devastating impact that this Act has already had on trans and gender diverse people. The majority of those who have socially transitioned or are on hormonal replacement therapy are currently living in fear and hiding, with some even facing eviction from their homes.

There have been documented cases of arrests targeting trans women, collective rape of trans men, job losses (especially among trans women involved in sex work), and mob justice against trans people whose gender expression aligns with stereotypes associated with homosexuality. The anti-LGBTIQ rhetoric surrounding this legislation has also contributed to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and stress, significantly affecting the mental health and wellbeing of transgender and gender diverse individuals.

As the face of the LGBTQ+ movement in Uganda, transgender and gender diverse people are vulnerable to violence because the majority of Ugandans lack an understanding of gender identity. This legislation poses a significant threat to our existence and violates our constitutional liberties.

The Act not only further entrenches discrimination and violence against the transgender and gender diverse community but also impedes access to crucial services such as healthcare, housing, education, participation in sports activities, employment, and freedom of association. Numerous organizations that had been providing essential support, including healthcare, mental health services, and legal assistance to trans and gender diverse individuals, have already been forced to close due to the dire situation. The assent of this Act has only exacerbated the already precarious human rights situation of the transgender and gender diverse communities across the country.

As a community, transgender and gender diverse people in Uganda assert our right to equality and freedom from discrimination, as well as our right to privacy, dignity, and respect. The proposed legislation will not silence our voices, and we will continue to fight for our rights and visibility.

At TYI-Uganda, our commitment to justice and equality remains steadfast, even in the face of adversity. This proposed legislation will not silence us; we will continue to be resolute in our determination to tirelessly advocate for the rights and well-being of the transgender and gender diverse community in Uganda. Our goal to promote inclusivity, acceptance, and respect drives us forward, despite the challenges we may encounter. We firmly believe that every individual deserves to live a life free from discrimination, fear, and prejudice.

We stand in solidarity with all transgender and gender diverse people in Uganda and around the world. Together, we will continue to work diligently to raise awareness, provide support, and fight for the rights of transgender and gender diverse individuals in Uganda.

We call on partners and allies to acknowledge and support the unique challenges transgender individuals and communities confront.

We invite all allies and partners to join us in this crucial fight. We require your participation in our struggle for equality and justice. Together, we can create a more inclusive, tolerant, and accepting Uganda, where everyone is free to express themselves without fear of discrimination or violence.

Announcing New GMP Members

The ITF is delighted to introduce our 2023 Grant Making Panel (GMP). As a participatory grantmaker, we are deeply committed to the ethos of ‘nothing about us without us.’ We believe that decisions about funding should be made by those most impacted by that funding. These 8 trans activists have diverse expertise and come from across the globe. They will join the 6 current members of the GMP and are tasked with reviewing eligible applications and selecting our grantee partners, which are then ratified by the Board. The GMP is currently reviewing applications for the 7th grant cycle and these decisions will be shared in June.

GMP Traning Session. April 2023

We recognize the importance of having a diverse and representative panel to ensure that the funds we distribute are allocated to those who need it the most. We believe that having trans activists from all over the world on the GMP will enable us to gain deeper insights into the issues facing trans communities. This year, the GMP includes members from Benin, Colombia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Namibia, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Slovenia, Thailand, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

We are excited to work with our new GMP members and look forward to the positive impact their involvement will have on our grantmaking process. You can read more about all current GMP members here.