Category: Uncategorized

Strategic Synergy: Highlights from the ITF Board Meeting

This week’s ITF Board Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand, marked a milestone in the organization’s journey. Board members engaged in strategic discussions aimed at fortifying the ITF’s governance structures, ensuring a robust foundation for effective decision-making and long-term sustainability.

The meeting was also a place to discuss operational matters, fostering a collaborative environment where key strategic decisions were made. Integral to the proceedings was the review and approval of the 2024 Budget, demonstrating the Board’s commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility. The Board also reviewed and approved the Annual Report (which we will publish next week).

Heartfelt congratulations to the newly appointed members of the Executive Board! We are excited to announce Alex Rodrigo Castillo Hernández and Sara R. Phillips as Co-Chairs, Liberty Matthyse as Treasurer, and Mikee Inton-Campbell as the Secretary of the Board. As members of the Executive Board, they will play a pivotal role in shaping and executing the strategic vision. Each of them brings a unique set of skills that will define the success and growth of the ITF for years to come.

We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to the five amazing activists who have recently joined the Board. Each one brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our organization, stemming from their diverse backgrounds and outstanding contributions as trans activists. The selection process was highly competitive, reflecting our commitment to ensuring that our leadership team represents a broad spectrum of perspectives and skills.

As we usher in this new era, we are confident that the innovative ideas, passion, and dedication these Board Members bring will further the ITF’s mission on a global scale. We look forward to the positive impact their collective wisdom and experience will have on our organization and the communities we serve. To read more about the new Board Members click here.

We also extend our gratitude to the outgoing Board Members for their extraordinary contributions and dedicated service. Alejandra Collette Spinetti Núñez, Barbra Wangare Leone, Chaber, and Zhan Chiam have played instrumental roles in guiding and shaping the ITF for the past several years. Their commitment and passion have left a lasting impact, and we appreciate everything they have accomplished during their tenure on the Board. As they transition to new endeavors, we thank them for their efforts and wish them continued success in their future pursuits.

Funding Webinars

Are you interested in applying to the ITF’s 8th grant cycle and looking for more information? The ITF hosts funding webinars for trans-led groups to provide details on the application process. During these webinars, we will share information about the eligibility criteria, funding priorities, and our new grantmaking portal. We will give helpful tips on how to write a strong and competitive application. There will also be the opportunity to ask our Program Officers questions. The webinars are held in multiple languages. To participate please register via the links below:

Funding Webinar Schedule – General Funding Webinars

General (English with Chinese and French interpretation)
Dec 5, 7am ET / 1pm South Africa / 6pm Bangkok, Thailand

Register here

General (Spanish)
Dec 6, 11am ET / 10am México DF / 1pm Santiago, Chile and Brasília, Brasil

Welcoming a New Era: 8th Grant Cycle Update

Dear ITF Community,

Today I am writing to share an important update about the 8th grant cycle which will launch on December 1, 2023.

The ITF is in the process of transitioning to grants management software. For the first time, organizations that want to apply for funding will do so in our new grantmaking portal. We believe this change will mark a significant step towards enhancing the applicants’ experience, removing barriers to applying and streamlining our grantmaking process.

In our new system, you will be asked to create a profile for your organization. This will allow you to apply for funding opportunities at the ITF. The benefit of this is that you will not have to keep filling out the same information about your organization each time you apply because it will be saved online. You will have the opportunity to work with colleagues on drafts in the system and save them as you go. You will still be able to apply in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish and you will continue to be able to submit either a written or video application for our SEED and THRIVE grants.

We have been working on this transition for the past 6 months and we are almost ready to launch. We’re committed to making sure the system runs smoothly and that our application process remains accessible and transparent. We know that some organizations may not have experience applying online or may struggle with this transition, please know that the ITF team will be on standby to assist. We will be running informational webinars in December and January to support trans-led organizations to apply.  

Each year we receive hundreds of eligible applications from incredible trans-led groups building their communities in different corners of the world. As a participatory grantmaker, our process is lengthy. With the integration of our new system, we are poised to significantly enhance the efficiency of our grantmaking  processes and provide an improved experience for applicants and grantee partners.

Please stay tuned for the launch on December 1! 


In Solidarity,

Broden and the ITF Team

Staff Retreat 2023

Greetings, ITF Community! 

This week, our team embarked on an incredible journey right here in the US, as we gathered for a Staff Retreat. Guided by the insightful Mateo Belen from Trans Equity Consulting, we took a moment to pause, breathe, and reflect.

In a world that constantly moves at a fast pace and challenges us, we recognize the vital importance of slowing down. By creating intentional time and space for reflection, we honor our commitment to community well-being. Throughout this retreat, we delved into meaningful conversations and forged deeper connections improving team cohesion. 

We return from this experience with a lot of enthusiasm, armed with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper bond as a team. We can’t wait to channel this energy into even more impactful work ahead!

Trans Rights Convening in Bogotá

The ITF celebrates the Trans Rights Convening organized by INCLO in Bogotá!

The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) convened, with the support of Centro de Estudios Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad (Dejusticia) and Fundación Grupo de Acción y Apoyo a Personas Trans (GAAT), the Third Transgender Rights Convening, from Sep. 26-29, 2023.

The Convening was attended by more than 50 people from about 20 countries, and the ITF had the opportunity to be a part of this critical event for trans organizing. Discussions and activities on resourcing for trans movements, on strategies to counter anti-rights and anti-gender politics, and on work experiences to defend human rights and civic participation that includes trans people were part of the program for this powerful group.

As a funder dedicated to trans-led movements worldwide, the ITF was delighted with the amazing facilitation and movement building promoted by INCLO, Dejusticia and Fundación GAAT — special cheers to Isa Noyola and Alexandra Rodriguez!

We celebrate all the trans power shared at the Trans Rights Convening, including groups that the ITF has supported, like Jinsiangu, Maavarim, Transgarte, and Transvanilla. Trans rights now!

Call for Applications to the Grant making Panel (GMP)

The International Trans Fund (ITF) is seeking applications from committed activists to be members of its Grant Making Panel (GMP). The deadline for submitting your application is Friday November 3rd 2023.

Applications can be submitted in either English or Spanish, the two official working languages of the ITF.

Trans groups across the globe remain severely under-resourced and operate with limited or no budgets. The State of Trans Organizing, a survey of 455 trans organizations conducted in 2016 by AJWS (American Jewish World Service), GATE (Global Action for Trans Equality) and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, found that two out of five trans groups had zero external funding and only 40% received foundation funding. 56% of trans organizations operated on a budget of less than USD$10,000 yearly and over three-quarters (78%) had annual budgets of less than USD$50,000. To address this disparity, a group of international trans activists and donors came together to create the International Trans Fund (ITF).

The ITF is a participatory grantmaking fund made up of trans activists and supporting donors. The ITF aims to increase the capacity of the trans movement to self-organize and advocate for trans people’s rights, self-determination, and wellbeing.

The purpose of the fund is to:

  • To develop and sustain a mechanism to support trans-led groups of different sizes working on a range of issues at the international, regional, country and local levels, with emphasis on smaller groups with limited resources.
  • To educate our peers in the philanthropic community on trans issues and influence other funders and strategic allies in trans related commitments and strategies.
  • To increase and enhance access to resources to support trans movements by increasing financial resources dedicated to trans-led organizations and groups; providing access to non-financial resources for trans organizations, such as skills building, organizational strengthening, leadership development and activist support; and improving advocacy in philanthropy to increase access to new donors.

What does “trans” mean to the ITF?
The ITF understands trans as a political term that defines the communities of people that we work with.  We use trans to define people whose gender identity or expression differs from their gender assigned at birth. Some of these people identify and present themselves as male or female; others identify with a non-binary gender category. These identities or expressions include trans women, trans men, fa’afafine, leiti, fakafifine, akava’ine, mahu, vakasalewalewa, palopa, Sistergirls, Brotherboys, whakawahine, tangata ira tane, muxhe, omeguid, travesti, two spirit, hijra, bandhu, mangalamukhi, kinnar, thirunangai, thirunambi, khwaja sira, meti, katoey, waria, mak nyah, kua xing nan, trans laki-laki, transpinay, transpinoy, kwaa-sing- bit, and transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-binary, gender diverse, gender non-conforming, and agender people – to name just a few.

As part of the ITF’s commitment to self-determination and decolonizing bodily oppressions, we are permanently committed and open to recognizing gender identities that emerge and that our communities claim within their socio-political contexts. These arise from the ongoing work of resistance and liberation that involves both the remembering and reimagining of gender identities and expressions. The ITF does not privilege any one gender identity or expression over another, including those communities who do not have specific terms to describe who they are.

ITF’s Grantmaking
The ITF is a participatory grantmaking fund and we take an activist-led approach that engages trans people in our grantmaking process. This means that trans people are actively involved at every stage, from determining funding priorities to reviewing applications and making decisions about which groups get funded. All eligible applications that are submitted to the ITF are reviewed by our GMP.

Roles and Responsibilities of the GMP
The role of the GMP is to review grant proposals submitted to the ITF and make decisions on these grant applications in line with ITF’s priorities and principles.

GMP members have the following responsibilities:

  1. Participate in online GMP training.
  2. Attend one annual in-person meeting (the meeting location changes each year) or virtual meeting which takes approximately 6 days
  3. Take active part in online discussions, e-mail exchanges, and at least 75% of online meetings.
  4. Lead and conduct grantmaking processes, including:
    1. Encourage trans communities to apply for funding.
    2. Review applications for funding.
    3. Make collective decisions on funding proposals (decisions of the GMP are final pending ratification from the Board).
    4. Recommend grantmaking priorities and provide input on ITF strategy as relevant.
  5. Strictly adhere to ITF’s confidentiality and conflict of interest policies in and outside of the ITF at all times.

Time Commitment

  • In order to fulfill this position, GMP members must be able to commit to the following:
  • Participate in mandatory online training (3 hours) each year.
  • Review 30-50 applications (including scoring and providing feedback) over 6 weeks in each annual grantmaking cycle (approximately 50 hours total each year).
  • Attend and actively participate in either an  in-person meeting or virtual meeting each year (6 days).

Qualification of the candidates
Essential qualifications:

  • Identify as trans.
  • Have at least 5 years of direct involvement with trans activism at the regional and/or international level.
  • Be recognised by other trans activists in their region as a trans community activist.
  • Be able to communicate and write in at least one of the ITF’s working languages (English or Spanish).
  • Be able and willing to work in a diverse environment that includes activists and donors.
  • Hold a passport allowing them to travel internationally to attend GMP meetings.
  • Have a strong commitment to fulfill tasks and deadlines.

Optional qualifications: It would be desirable for candidates to:

  • Be able to communicate and write in one of the other application languages (French, Russian or Chinese).
  • Have direct experience managing and reporting on grants for trans work.

Conflict of Interest
GMP members or their family members cannot be significantly involved in any group that has applied or will apply for funding from the ITF. GMP members may not benefit financially from the grants assessed or existing ITF grants. Learn more about our Conflict of Interest policy here.

GMP members will be appointed by the Board for a two-year term.

GMP members will receive a remuneration of USD$1,000 per one-year grant cycle.  Members also receive travel expenses, including per diem, to attend ITF meetings.

Selection process
The Board will select eight (8) activists to serve as GMP members. When selecting candidates, every effort will be made to ensure diversity across regions, gender identities and expressions, and representation from further marginalized groups within trans communities.

Please submit your CV and cover letter to [email protected] by November 3rd, 2023.

7th Grant Cycle Selection Process Update

We are delighted to share a progress update on the ongoing 7th grant cycle. At the recent Grant Making Panel (GMP) allocation meeting, our GMP members reviewed all applications and successfully selected grantee partners whose projects demonstrate the strongest potential for positive impact on trans movement building worldwide.

As part of our commitment to due diligence and transparency, we thoroughly checked the references of the selected groups to ensure credibility. We are pleased to announce that the Board has officially ratified the list of grantees, affirming our support for their transformative initiatives.

Congratulations to all the selected groups for this well-deserved recognition! We are currently in the process of notifying groups individually and initiating the contract signing to formalize our partnership.

For the groups whose applications were not selected, we extend our sincere appreciation for their efforts and dedication. We anticipate making an official announcement in the following months, celebrating the initiatives that will become our grantee partners.

Thank you for being an integral part of our mission!

Statement on Russia’s Gender-Affirming Care and Transition Ban/Заявление по поводу законопроекта о запрете транс-перехода

On July 19, the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, passed a series of amendments to the Family Code and federal laws, aiming to impose a ban on legal gender recognition and gender-affirmative interventions. This includes preventing those who have undergone gender-affirming surgery abroad from obtaining legal gender recognition in Russia.

The ITF vehemently condemns these amendments and urgently calls upon Russian authorities to reconsider this harmful legislation. Such measures will have irreversible consequences, affecting the lives of trans individuals, their families, and society as a whole for generations to come. It is crucial for the Russian government to protect the human rights of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

The ban on gender-affirming care, including surgery and hormone therapy, will lead to unbearable suffering for countless Russian citizens, denying them essential healthcare services and putting their mental health at grave risk. This law effectively discriminates against trans individuals, relegating them to second-class citizenship.

Furthermore, these new amendments reject universal human rights principles and reflect the same regressive rhetoric seen in the “gay propaganda” law that prohibits the portrayal of “non-traditional sexual relations.” By continuing to promote “family values” while disregarding the rights of vulnerable communities, Russian politicians are further harming the trans community and perpetuating outdated ideas about gender and sexuality.

We stand in solidarity with the trans community in Russia and urge for a reconsideration of these harmful amendments, fostering a society that upholds the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.


19 июля Совет Федерации, принял ряд поправок в Семейный кодекс и федеральные законы, направленных на введение запрета на юридическое признание гендера и гендерно-утверждающие вмешательства. В частности, запрет на смену гендерного маркера в России распространяется на тех, кто прошел гендерно-утверждающие процедуры за рубежом.

ITF осуждает эти поправки и призывает российские власти пересмотреть это вредное законодательство. Подобные меры приведут к необратимым последствиям, повлияют на жизнь транс людей, их семей и общества в целом. Для российское правительство должно защищать права всех людей, независимо от их гендерной идентичности.

Запрет на оказание гендерно-утверждающей помощи, включая хирургическое вмешательство и гормональную терапию, приведет к невыносимым страданиям огромного количества российских граждан, лишив их необходимых медицинских услуг и поставив под серьезную угрозу их психическое здоровье. Этот закон фактически дискриминирует транс людей, низводя их до уровня граждан второго сорта.

Кроме того, новые поправки отвергают универсальные принципы прав человека и отражают ту же регрессивную риторику, что и закон о “гей-пропаганде”, запрещающий изображение “нетрадиционных сексуальных отношений”. Более того, эти новые поправки отвергают универсальные принципы прав человека и отражают ту же регрессивную риторику, что и закон о “гей-пропаганде”, запрещающий изображение “нетрадиционных сексуальных отношений”. Продолжая пропагандировать “семейные ценности” и игнорируя права уязвимых групп населения, российские политики наносят дополнительный вред транс сообществу и увековечивают устаревшие представления о гендере и сексуальности.

Мы солидарны с транс сообществом России и призываем пересмотреть эти вредные поправки, вместо этого способствуя построению общества, в котором уважаются достоинство и права всех людей, независимо от их гендерной идентичности.

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.

Statement on Uganda’s Anti-LGBTQ Bill

On May 29th, the Speaker of Parliament communicated publicly that President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law in Uganda. This new law imposes harsher penalties for consensual same-sex relationships and creates additional crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

The law criminalizes any advocacy in support of LGBTQ+ individuals under the offense of “promoting homosexuality.” Disturbingly, it also includes a provision that permits the death penalty for cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” perpetuating stigma against people living with HIV and undermining the progress made in Uganda’s HIV/AIDS response.

We strongly condemn this law as it violates the principle of equality stated in Uganda’s Constitution. Activists are preparing to challenge the law’s constitutionality in court, highlighting the inherent human rights violations it entails.

It is disheartening to note that even prior to its passing, the proposal of this bill has resulted in targeted persecution of the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. In order to prioritize the safety of our grantee partners, we took the critical decision to temporarily take down our social media and website, and have remained offline for the past two months. This action was taken in response to the escalating risks faced by our partners in Uganda. 

While this decision has temporarily limited our ability to communicate and engage through these channels, we firmly believe it was the necessary step to safeguard the individuals and communities we work with. After doing a risk assessment, including speaking to those impacted, and scrubbing our website, we have come back online to join the chorus of voices speaking out against the law.

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda and will continue to advocate for the protection of their rights, safety, and well-being. We urge everyone to join us in condemning this law and supporting legal efforts to overturn it.