Category Archives: News

Donate towards our $250,000 goal and help fund grassroots Trans Justice!

TJFP is turning 10 years old and we’re raising $250k by May 27th as the first part in our year-long 10th anniversary fundraiser. We hope to raise $1 million dollars throughout the entire year. 

 

Stay tuned, because later this summer we’re going to have our first ever virtual fundraising celebration! Learn more and donate towards our first $250,000 goal, and find out about this year’s applicants.

 

Right now, our grantmaking fellows are reading the hundreds of applications that arrived this year, preparing to select 2022’s grantees after May 27th. The money you help us raise goes to these incredible trans-led groups across the country, many of whom are located in states battling hostile legislation. These groups focus not only on trans issues but also respond to community needs like racial justice, housing, legal support, disability, employment, job training, organizing, education justice, economic justice, and so much more. These groups are operating through an intersectional lens and doing all they can to help trans communities survive and grow, sustain and thrive individually and collectively.

 

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Introducing 2022 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Bunnie Wells Cruse!

TJFP is thrilled to introduce the first of our six Community Grantmaking Fellows, Bunnie Wells Cruse!

Bunnie Wells Cruse (she/her) is a Mexican-American Trans Woman and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bunnie is currently Board Chair of The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, Queen Mother of The Imperial Sovereign Court of New Mexico, and on the board of A Light in The Night Community Outreach. Bunnie is the cofounder of what is now the NM HIV WALK and founder of #BunnieBags that helps feed trans and non binary folx. Bunnie is passionate about feeding her community and fundraises year round to do so.

This year Bunnie is celebrating 16 years of recovery from meth addiction, being homeless and survival sex work. In 2021 she graduated from EMERGE, a program that teaches woman and non binary folx to run for public office. She is the first trans woman to take the EMERGE program in New Mexico and was elected class speaker by her peers. Bunnie ran to be appointed to the New Mexico House of Representatives, while she didn’t win she is super proud that she did it. Bunnie is the first out trans woman to run for any public office in New Mexico. Bunnie’s mentors in politics are Secretary of The Interior Deb Haaland, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Oliver Toulouse and Governor of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Bunnie is currently an administrative assistant out of the Office of The Governor and is assigned to the New Mexico Department of Health’s contact tracing unit. Bunnie also works in a nightclub, Effex, on the weekends where she is able to talk and get to know community members. On a personal note Bunnie is engaged and plans on getting married summer of 2022.

Thank you for bringing your power and wisdom to our grantmaking panel this year!

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Unwavering and Unbreakable: Addressing recent attacks on Trans and Non-Binary Youth

Image courtesy of megemikoart.com

 

Dear Friends, Family and Community,

We’re horrified that Texas Governor Abbott has instructed the Department of Family and Protective Services to begin investigating what he and Texas Attorney General Paxton have newly defined “child abuse”: families loving and supporting their trans and gender expansive children. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wants Texas communities to report parents and “licensed professionals” such as doctors, nurses and teachers, to state authorities if there is any sign they are supporting or providing transition-related care.

According to the ACLU, this “opinion is not legally binding, and it remains up to the courts to interpret Texas laws and the Constitution. Moreover, DFPS cannot remove any child from their parents or guardians without a court order. No court here in Texas or anywhere in the country has ever found that gender-affirming care can be considered child abuse. The opinion released by Paxton cites highly partisan, outdated, and inaccurate information that ignores the consensus of every major medical association and the evidence-based and peer-reviewed standards of care. Trans youth continue to be threatened in Texas by state leadership as part of a politically motivated misinformation campaign that harms children.”

This is only part of a wave of anti-trans legislation that has swept across the United States, and according to Freedom for All Americans, there are more states in the nation considering anti-trans legislation than there are not. (You can see their legislation tracker here.)

According to the ACLU, there are at least 17 states so far in 2022 that have introduced bills that prohibit or criminalize gender-affirming care for trans youth.

The ACLU has also made a statement warning against similar efforts and their impact on trans youth, “If allowed to go into effect, the law will undermine the mental, emotional, and physical health of transgender and non-binary people across the state.”

No matter who you are or where you live 

You can find groups working against these harmful attacks on bodily autonomy and trans lives by taking a look at the map on our website. Our map lists all TJFP applicants and grantees, grassroots trans-led groups organizing for trans liberation, that need the support of people on the ground in their communities! We encourage you to donate directly or offer your time, skills, and support, however you can with groups in your area.

“They don’t want to protect us, they want to control and eradicate us.  And it is through our collective action that we resist and rebuild the world we want and need to live in”  -Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project

A testament from TJFP’s Database & Communications Coordinator, Demian Yoon 

Long before I joined TJFP, I was a trans child in New York, seeking care from my parents and a number of social work and medical professionals to support a transition that was already happening. My transition from numbly accepting a cis, closeted life, to a life where I could demand the care I knew I deserved, could make the moves I needed to be free from dysphoria and distress.

The legal decisions around my name change, the medical decisions around my physical transition, weren’t ones I was allowed to make on my own, and required a lot of second opinions and permission from authority figures. But whether my parents supported me or not, whatever my teachers or doctors had to say about it, I already knew I was trans. Receiving gender-affirming care and transitioning as a child simply let me continue living and growing in a way that felt most correct and right to me.

I do not know what I would have done if I had grown up in a state that interpreted transitioning under the age of 18 as child abuse. When we are children, when we are the most vulnerable and reliant on the authority figures around us, it is already terrifying to know you are trans and to ask for care. It is extraordinarily cruel to tell trans children, and the trans adults that they become, that the love and understanding they do receive is abuse. That the state will reward people who hate them. That all of this is done, supposedly, because the state has an interest in “protecting children.”

I did not and will never need to be protected from the rich, full, trans adolescence I had, the life I grew into through transitioning. The things I actually needed the most protection from were the condescension, mistrust, and archaic ideas about gender that slowed my transition. Even as a fully grown trans adult, coming from a background of strong family support and a relatively uneventful transition, I still feel helpless, still feel so much rage at the surveillance and control forced upon trans children like the one I was. Childhood is for being messy, for exploring and changing, for practicing being human, for learning how to care and support by being supported and cared for. It is not for living white-knuckled in fear and pain, for trying to perform normal good enough, waiting to reach some arbitrary age to possibly access freedom. It is not for fearing your family will be investigated for your personal medical decisions. We all want and need so much more, and we all deserve full and meaningful lives, free of cruel and unnecessary interventions by people far removed from our realities.

Part of TJFP’s mission is to move money to trans-led grassroots groups and projects centering trans justice in the US and US territories. Additionally we honor and amplify the ways our communities organize, create and shift culture, commit their love and care, and fight like hell for trans liberation.

We share your outrage with the seemingly endless attacks on our communities and yet we’re reminded all the time how incredibly powerful our grantees, applicants and our larger TJFP community is. We resist any narratives or efforts that seek to undermine our communities’ survival. Trans communities have proven throughout history that our commitments to keeping each other safe are unwavering and unbreakable. We are committed to trans futures, trans stories, trans families, and trans lives on a deep and personal level because these are ours, our kin in transness and queerness, our family that we will show up to protect. We are here with you!

Here’s what you can do

Chase Strangio identified 3 key action steps in his update on Instagram:

  1. We need to raise awareness. Whether it’s your state or not, make some noise!  People need to know what’s going on.  Utah wants to inspect trans kids’ bodies.  Florida is trying to erase the entire LGBTQIA community.  Arizona is attacking critically needed affirming healthcare again.  GET LOUD.
  2. Contact your legislators.  Visit www.openstate.org to find out what’s happening and start making calls.  Your action is needed and VOTE if you can.  Primaries are coming!
  3. Look to your local organizers for direction and support them however you can. You can donate, offer your skills and services and show up when called on.  Please remember that these groups might be overwhelmed right now and unable to field every call or request but your support is still needed.  Please feel free to check out our directory and digital map to find groups and projects in your area.

We are sending so much love to our trans community everywhere. Always.

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Our 11 Application Questions About Your Work / Nuestras once preguntas de aplicación sobre tu trabajo

Now is the time to apply for a TJFP grant! These are the eleven questions we ask in our application each year so that groups can share about their work and our community grantmaking fellows can make their funding decisions. Our goal has always been to keep our application as short and simple as we can while still providing our grantmaking fellows with the information they need, and as we grow, shift, and change, our application questions may do the same. Deadline is February 15th, 2022 before midnight PST. Application link here!

¡Ahora es el momento de solicitar una subvención en TJFP! Estas son las once preguntas que hacemos en nuestra solicitud cada año para que los grupos puedan compartir sobre su trabajo y que nuestros miembros comunitarios que otorgan subvenciones puedan tomar sus decisiones de financiación. Nuestro objetivo siempre ha sido mantener nuestra solicitud lo más breve y simple posible y al mismo tiempo proporcionar a nuestros donantes la información que necesitan, y a medida que crecemos, cambiamos y aprendemos nuevos métodos, nuestras preguntas de solicitud pueden hacer lo mismo. La fecha límite es el 15 de febrero del 2022 antes de la medianoche hora estándar del Pacifico. Enlace de aplicación.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Applications are open for 2022 Grants / ¡Las solicitudes ya están disponibles para las subvenciones del 2022 del TJFP!

It’s that time again! Time for grassroots, trans-led, trans justice groups to apply for funding and for those of us who can, to donate what we can to support their work.  Please help us spread the word! Please make sure to read our guidelines first to determine if your group is eligible. The application is currently available in English and Spanish. 

Is Your Group Eligible for a TJFP Grant?

  • Are you a group?
  • Are you a grassroots, trans justice group run by and for trans people?
  • Is your group’s total budget less than $250,000?
  • Are you located in the United States or a U.S. territory?
  • Are you centering the leadership of trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions?
  • Are you meeting the needs of different local communities and using organizing and/or providing services to help bring people together?
  • Do you see your work as part of a bigger picture of trans-led work that seeks dignity and justice for all people?

* TJFP does not fund individuals.
* You do not need to be a 501c3 non-profit or have a fiscal sponsor to apply!

How Much Money is TJFP Giving Away?

Grants range in size and the more money we raise by May, the more we can give away! Every penny we raise goes to our grantees with no restrictions and no strings attached because we truly believe in trusting and supporting trans leadership. Our 2022 goal is to give away at least one million dollars with grant sizes of $2500, $5000, and $10,000.

Deadline

The deadline to apply is February 15th, 2022 by midnight Pacific Standard Time. Decisions will be made at the end of May 2022, so you can expect to hear back from us by early June 2021.

Translation & Accessibility

The application is currently available in English and Spanish.

Please email us at admin@transjusticefundingproject.org by January 15th if you need a translated version in another language of the application.

We aim to make this process as accessible as possible, so please let us know about any other needs you have and we will do our best to meet them.

 


¡Las solicitudes ya están disponibles para las subvenciones del 2022 del Proyecto de Financiamiento de Justicia Trans (TJFP)!

 

 

TJFP es iniciativa comunitaria de financiamiento fundada en 2012 para apoyar grupos comunitarias de justicia trans dirigidos por y para personas trans. Hacemos becas anualmente por organizar un comité de seis activistas de justicia trans de todo el país para revisar cuidadosamente cada solicitud que recibimos.

 

¿Es elegible su grupo para una beca de TJFP?

  • ¿Es un grupo?
  •  ¿Es grupo comunitario de justicia trans dirigido por y para personas trans?
  • ¿El presupuesto total de su grupo es menos que $250,000?
  • ¿Está ubicado en los Estados Unidos o en Territorios de los Estados Unidos?
  • ¿Su grupo se enfoca en el liderazgo de personas trans organizando sobre sus experiencias con racismo, injusticia económica, trans-misoginia, capacitismo, inmigración, encarcelamiento, y otras opresiones interseccional?
  • ¿Satisface las necesidades de diferentes comunidades locales y organiza y/o provee servicios para unir las personas
  • ¿Considera su trabajo parte de una panorama general de trabajo dirigido por las personas trans para dignidad y justicia para todas personas?

TJFP no da becas a individuos.

¡No necesitas estatus sin fines de lucro 501c3, ni necesitas patrocinio fiscal tampoco para solicitar!

 

¿Cuánto dinero está donando el TJFP?

Las becas varían en tamaño.  Cuanto más recaudamos  más podemos regalar! Cada centavo que recaudamos va a nuestros beneficiarios sin restricciones ni condiciones tampoco porque creemos sinceramente en confiar en y apoyar al liderazgo trans.

Fecha límite

La fecha límite para solicitar es la 15 de febrero de 2022 por la medianoche PST. Decidiremos a finales de May 2022. Entonces, planea tener la respuesta de nosotrxs para Junio 2022.

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Remembering, Resisting, and Honoring our Resilience

Art by Edxie Betts+ Forward Together. Please visit Forward Together’s Trans Day of Resilience page for “art that dreams beyond resilience, towards our free trans future.”

On this day, November 20th, trans communities, our loved ones, and allies are pausing on a global level to honor and grieve the lives of those who have been taken from us by acts of anti-trans violence. Even though great strides have been made over the years, carving out new opportunities and progress for our people, transphobic violence continues to be a global crisis.

According to Trans Respect vs Transphobia, a devastating 375 trans and gender-diverse people were murdered in the past year around the world.  This number is up from 350 in 2020. 96% of those murdered globally were trans women or transfeminine people. In the United States, the murders of trans people doubled from last year; 89% of the 53 trans people murdered were people of color.

As we know, anti-trans violence is supported by and consistantly intersects with misogyny, racism (especially for Black and brown trans women and migrants), economic injustice, criminalization, and hate towards sex workers.

So once again we come together–however we are able–to light our candles in their memory and speak out the names of those we’ve lost.  Our flames burn brightly for them. Their lives, your life, our lives, are all worthy of receiving love and joy, support and care. As a bare minimum, we deserve to exist, able to move freely as our truest selves without fear.

All of this weighs heavy on our shoulders.

And yet, on this day, November 20th, trans communities, our loved ones and allies are also honoring our resilience, our perseverance, our creativity, our beauty, and our gift of knowing how to take care of each other.

TJFP shares our community’s love and rage and we’re grateful for everyone who works relentlessly to resist, refusing to no longer accept a culture or future where our trans siblings experience violence in all of its forms.

Today and every day we hope to honor and support you, our grantees, friends, family and community.  We will remember and we will continue to press forward.  And we thank those of you who do this with us.

Change is not possible without action and we see our beautiful community actively fighting for a liberated future for us all.

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Welcome TJFP’s newest staff member, Nicole Fernandes!

TJFP is extremely pleased to announce our newest staff member, Nicole Fernandes as our very first Administrative Director!

Nicole first began working closely with us when she became a 2020 Community Grantmaking Fellow and now we’re thrilled to have her in this role as a full time staff member.  As we’ve expressed to Nicole and to so many of you, thank you for saying, ‘yes’ to us.  Nicole is no stranger to devoting her skills and talents to supporting trans liberation.

Nicole has strong experience in administrative roles, including roles in nonprofit and grassroots organizations.  Some of Nicole’s experience includes serving as an Information and Referral Specialist at The Center and most recently serving as the Finance and Administrative Associate at Funders for LGBTQ Issues. When she isn’t working, Nicole loves to play with her acrylic paints and tend to her plant babies. She is very excited to bring the skills she’s learned along her journey to serve the trans community.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Nicole to the team!

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Transmitiendo lo que es posible y se puede lograr: una conversación con Arianna Lint

Arianna Lint

Translation in English

Por Cathy Kapua

Cuando conocí a Arianna Lint, la fundadora y directora ejecutiva del Centro Arianna (Arianna’s Center), quedé deslumbrado por la fuerza e intención de su voz, mientras exigía que los departamentos federales financiaran el trabajo de justicia trans en el sur. En una mesa redonda en el 2014 junto con otras personas trans que trabajan en la prevención y el cuidado del VIH, ella expresó su punto con hechos contundentes y desde el corazón que están pasando y afectando a la comunidad. “Nuestras manos están atadas mientras nuestra gente está muriendo”, dijo, levantando las manos para mostrar esposas reales en sus muñecas, exigiendo la atención de todos en la habitación. “¡Sin el dinero para hacer este trabajo, no podemos ayudarlos y tal vez salvarlos!” Arianna siempre ha tenido el impulso y la tenacidad para hacer cualquier cosa para ayudar a su gente. Estamos muy agradecidos de que se tomara el tiempo de sentarse con nosotros en una llamada de Zoom para contarnos más sobre lo que la impulsa a “trabajar, defender y resistir” en nombre de su familia trans de todas partes, incluyendo por qué organizó un tutorial sobre cómo postularse a TJFP el año pasado.

“Mi familia, por elección” 

Arianna es la fundadora y directora ejecutiva del Centro Arianna (Arianna’s Center). El centro fue fundado en el 2015 en Florida. El centro de Arianna es la única organización de servicio directo y defensa con sede en el sur de la Florida, dirigida por una mujer trans Latina que vive abiertamente con VIH. Arianna describió que su organización está enfocada “en las comunidades más vulnerables: trabajadores sexuales, personas que viven abiertamente con VIH, personas sin hogar, inmigrantes trans Latinx, personas indocumentadas, y personas que acaban de salir de la cárcel, prisión, o de centros de detención”.

Cuando le pedí a Arianna que se describiera a sí misma y a que ella llama hogar, Arianna se apresuró a explicar que debido a que es una inmigrante trans Latina que vive en los Estados Unidos, pues ella trabaja en muchos lugares, por eso le es “muy difícil” decir a qué parte ella lo llamaría hogar. Sin embargo, “yo llamo a mi hogar a Florida, yo llamo a mi hogar a los Estados Unidos… Yo llamo a mi hogar Puerto Rico”. Pero, agregó, que el hogar más importante para ella es “mi comunidad transgénero”. Lleva más de veinte años viviendo en los Estados Unidos, y “la comunidad transgénero ha sido mi familia, por elección”, brindándole el apoyo, los consejos y la fé en sus sueños que mantienen el fuego que pude ver en ella desde nuestro primer encuentro… Desde ser voluntaria en una clínica de VIH en la Florida, hasta abrir y liderar su propia organización, Arianna ha sido sostenida y se ha mantenido por la fé de su comunidad en ella. Ahora, cinco años después de recibir su primera subvención de TJFP en el 2016, se asegura de que los activistas y líderes de habla hispana aprendan cómo funcionan los procesos de financiación y concesión de subvenciones. A pesar de que Arianna y su equipo han aumentado su presupuesto con éxito, lo que ha hecho que el Centro de Arianna ya no sea elegible para una subvención de TJFP, su trabajo todavía está tomando nuevas formas a medida que su trabajo continúa.

Arianna me contó sobre su infancia en Perú, donde vió a sus padres hacer trabajo social y se involucró en un club para niños que buscaban generar impactos sociales en sus vecindarios. “Desde el principio siempre intente ayudar a cómo defender a los demás, así que esa es mi personalidad,” me dijo entre risas. En la escuela, tuvo que enfrentar el acoso homofóbico, en ese entonces le preguntó a su maestra por qué otros estudiantes la estaban tratando injustamente. Su maestra respondió con una frase de una telenovela: “Cuando los perros ladran, es porque estás caminando hacia adelante”. Arianna se lo tomó en serio: y desde ahí ha avanzado hasta entonces y nunca se ha detenido. Ella es una ex abogada y licenciada en ciencias políticas de la Universidad San Martín de Porres en Lima, una vez dirigió una empresa de construcción y en estos días está constantemente en el teléfono, planeando estrategias y construyendo un mejor futuro.

“Trabajar, defender y resistir” 

Arianna fue diagnosticada con VIH después de mudarse a los Estados Unidos y, tratando de ser “la mejor versión de ella” después de su diagnóstico, comenzó a trabajar como voluntaria en una clínica de VIH en Florida. En su tiempo como voluntaria y luego como administradora de casos, “veo que mi comunidad necesita mucho”, recordó. Contratada en una organización LGBT como directora de servicios para personas transgénero, comenzó a imaginarse cómo sería su propia organización liderada por personas trans: “Puedo contratar a más personas trans con las que podría trabajar de manera más abierta. Puedo desarrollar los programas de forma más directa “. Ella se destacó de forma independiente en el 2015, solicitó y recibió una subvención de TJFP en el 2016 como Translatina Coalition Florida Chapter, fué beneficiaria nuevamente en el 2017 y en el 2018 como Arianna’s Center, y en el 2020 recibió una subvención para la sucursal puertorriqueña del Arianna’s Center.

“Soy una persona que hice toda mi carrera y he llevado toda mi vida como activista vendiendo sueños … porque alguien me vendió sueños y esperanzas”.

Ahora, además de proporcionar pruebas y manejo de casos para los clientes y capacitaciones para los proveedores de servicios, el Centro de Arianna también tiene un programa de vivienda de dos semanas y un vínculo de atención para las personas trans que son positivas con VIH y han sido recientemente liberadas del encarcelamiento. En los últimos dos años, Arianna’s Center ha continuado elevando las voces de la comunidad trans, uniéndose a la Universidad de Puerto Rico para “la primera evaluación de necesidades específicamente para personas trans en Puerto Rico”. Arianna también ha estado trabajando con organizaciones como Human Rights Watch, Transgender Law Center y Positively Trans en encuestas similares para personas trans y VIH positivas en el sur de Florida. En una entrevista del 2021 con Arianna en Shoutout Miami, dijo con orgullo: “Ahora, si eres trans en el sur de Florida, o si tu agencia quiere trabajar con personas trans, el Centro de Arianna es el primer recurso al que pueden recurrir”.

“Vendiendo sueños/posibilidades” 

“Somos recaudadores de fondos, pero no expertos en recaudación de fondos”, me dijo Arianna cuando le pregunté cómo es recaudar dinero para su trabajo. Aún así, una idea de recaudación de fondos que compartió conmigo nació claramente de la experiencia en las necesidades de sus comunidades. Para recaudar fondos y también alentar el empoderamiento de los jóvenes trans puertorriqueños, Arianna quiere crear un concurso anual para coronar a un concursante puertorriqueño que represente a Puerto Rico en el exterior. Al aprovechar el prestigio del sistema de competencia de concursos específicamente entre las comunidades trans a las que sirve, y al incorporar la educación y la defensa del VIH en el certamen, quiero que los jóvenes trans puertorriqueños sigan carreras y se sientan orgullosos de sus identidades y experiencias personales y profesionales.

Arianna comprende el poder de ser validada por los propios compañeros en todos los aspectos de la vida, incluso en el mundo de la financiación. El poder de tener tu propia comunidad, que conoce el impacto del cambio que esperas hacer, apoya tu trabajo, no una institución externa que está desconectada de lo que sabes que tu gente realmente necesita. Recordó recibir su primera subvención de TJFP en el 2016 y llorar de emoción, y sobre todo cómo esa primera subvención la ayudó a “crecer como persona, como profesional, y como agencia”, construyendo el Centro de Arianna hasta donde está hoy. A pesar de que el Centro de Arianna ya no puede acceder a fondos de TJFP, ya que el tamaño de su presupuesto está más allá de los criterios de elegibilidad de TJFP, Arianna todavía quería transmitir esa emoción a otros activistas y líderes que podrían estar comenzando, tal como lo hizo hace cinco años. antes, con poco conocimiento de cómo conseguir financiación y apoyo para su trabajo. “Es hora de que estos sueños se hagan realidad”, dijo. “Tan pronto como obtenga su primera subvención, comenzará a recibir diferentes subvenciones porque comenzará a buscar más”.

En particular, es muy consciente de la barrera del idioma para acceder a la mayoría de los fondos disponibles. Si bien TJFP ofrece una solicitud en español, Arianna quería estar disponible para explicar más los matices de la financiación, porque sabe “lo difícil que es tener acceso a la primera subvención… como activistas de base y vulnerables en todo el país, especialmente en el sur.” Con su experiencia como beneficiaria bilingüe de TJFP, organizó un taller de tutoría e invitó al personal de TJFP como un “puente” para presentar y explicar el proceso de solicitud de TJFP a “muchos líderes emergentes y grupos liderados por personas trans en el Sur”.

Fue maravilloso planear con Arianna para preparar el tutorial y hablar con aproximadamente 20 organizadores trans de Carolina del Norte, Texas, Georgia, Florida y Puerto Rico, la mayoría de los cuales eran Latinos. Esta también fue una gran oportunidad para TJFP y nos sentimos muy honrados de poder desmitificar el proceso de solicitud de subvenciones y conectarnos con posibles nuevos beneficiarios. Estamos muy agradecidos de ver a alguien en la posición de Arianna aprovechar su poder y sus relaciones para brindar oportunidades en todas partes a nuestra comunidad.

Líderes e innovadores como Arianna son exactamente la razón por la que existe TJFP. A medida que continúan rompiendo barreras y al mismo tiempo responden a múltiples necesidades de la comunidad, vemos que nuestro trabajo les proporciona recursos y los defiende en espacios filantrópicos. ¡Gracias Arianna por su incansable trabajo todos estos años que han tenido un impacto significativo y muy importante que ha contribuido y cambiado la vida de muchas personas!

Si desea obtener más información y ayudar al Centro de Arianna, visite su sitio web.

Arianna Lint y Cathy Kapua

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Passing on Possibility: A conversation with Arianna Lint

Arianna Lint

Traducción en éspanol

By Cathy Kapua, Deputy Director of TJFP

When I first met Arianna Lint, the founder and CEO of Arianna’s Center, I was dazzled by the strength and intention in her voice, speaking truth to power as she demanded that federal departments fund trans justice work in the South. At a roundtable discussion in 2014 with other trans people working in HIV prevention and care, she brought her point across with heart and with hard hitting facts. “Our hands are tied while our people are dying,” she said, raising her hands to show actual handcuffs on her wrists, demanding the attention of everyone in the room. “Without the money to do this work, I can’t save them!” Arianna has always had the fire and drive to do anything to help her people. We’re so grateful that she sat down with us on a Zoom call to tell us more about what fuels her in “working, advocating, and resisting” on behalf of her trans family everywhere, including why she hosted a tutorial on applying to TJFP this past year.

“My family, by choice”

Arianna is the founder and CEO of Arianna’s Center.  Founded in 2015 in Florida, Arianna’s Center is the only direct service and advocacy organization based in South Florida, led by a trans Latina openly living with HIV.  Arianna described her organization as one that focuses on “the most vulnerable communities–sex workers, people living openly with HIV, homeless, trans Latinx immigrants, people who are undocumented, people who are just released from jail, prison, detention centers.”

When I asked Arianna to describe herself and where she calls home, Arianna was quick to explain that because she’s a trans Latina immigrant living in the United States, doing work in many places, it’s “very difficult” to say where she’d call home. “I call home Florida, I call home the United States…I call home Puerto Rico.” But, she added, the most important home for her is “my transgender community.” Of her twenty-plus years living in the United States, “the transgender community was my family, by choice,” providing her the support, advice, and belief in her dreams that fuels the fire I could see in her from our very first meeting. From volunteering at an HIV clinic in Florida, to opening and leading her own organization, Arianna has been sustained by her community’s belief in her. Now, five years after receiving her first TJFP grant in 2016, she’s making sure Spanish-speaking activists and leaders learn about how funding and grantmaking processes work. Even though Arianna and her team have successfully grown their budget, making Arianna’s Center no longer eligible for a TJFP grant award, her work still is still taking on new forms and shapes as her work continues.

Arianna told me about her childhood in Peru, where she watched her parents do social work and became involved in a club for children seeking to make social impacts in their neighborhoods. “I try to help defend others, so that is my personality all the way from the beginning,” she told me with a laugh. In school, facing homophobic bullying, she asked her teacher why other students were treating her unfairly. Her teacher responded with a quote from a telenovela–”When the dogs bark, it’s because you’re walking forward.” Arianna took that to heart–she’s moved forward since then and has never stopped. She’s a former lawyer and political sciences graduate of San Martín de Porres University in Lima, once ran a construction company, and these days she’s constantly on the phone, strategizing and building.

Arianna’s Center distributing meals in Wilton Manors, FL

“Working, advocating, and resisting”

Arianna was diagnosed with HIV after moving to the United States and, in trying to be “the best version of me” after her diagnosis, began volunteering at an HIV clinic in Florida. In her time there as a volunteer and later as a case manager, “I see my community needs a lot,” she remembered. Hired at an LGBT organization as the director of transgender services, she began to envision what her own, trans led organization might look like–“I can hire more trans people I could work with more openly. I can develop the programs more directly.” Striking out independently in 2015, she applied and received a TJFP grant in 2016 as Translatina Coalition Florida Chapter, was a grantee again in 2017 and 2018 as Arianna’s Center, and in 2020 received a grant for the Puerto Rican branch of Arianna’s Center.

“I am a person who made my entire career and activist life selling dreams…because somebody sold dreams to me.”

Now, on top of providing testing and case management for clients and trainings for service providers, Arianna’s Center also has a two-week housing program and care linkage for trans people who are HIV positive and recently released from incarceration. In the last two years, Arianna’s Center has continued to uplift the voices of the trans community, pairing with the University of Puerto Rico for “the first need assessment specifically for trans individuals in Puerto Rico.” Arianna has also been working with organizations like Human Rights Watch, Transgender Law Center, and Positively Trans on similar surveys for trans and HIV positive people in South Florida. In a 2021 interview with Arianna in Shoutout Miami, she said proudly, “Now, if you are trans in South Florida, or if your agency wants to work with trans people, Arianna’s Center is the first resource they turn to.”

Arianna’s Center APRIL Training Program participants

“Selling Dreams”

“We’re fundraisers, but not experts in fundraising,” Arianna told me when I asked her about what it’s like to raise money for her work. Still, one fundraising idea she shared with me was clearly born from expertise in the needs of her communities. To raise money and also encourage Puerto Rican trans youth empowerment, Arianna wants to create an annual pageant to crown a Puerto Rican contestant to represent Puerto Rico abroad. By harnessing the prestige of the pageant competition system specifically among the trans communities she serves, and by incorporating HIV education and advocacy into the pageant, she wants Puerto Rican trans youth to pursue careers and feel pride in their identities and experiences.

Arianna understands the power of being validated by one’s own peers in all parts of life, including in the funding world. The power of having your own community, who knows the impact of the change you’re hoping to make, support your work, not an outside institution that is disconnected from what you know your people really need. She recalled receiving her first grant from TJFP in 2016 and crying from excitement, and how that first grant helped her to “grow as a person, as a professional, as an agency,” building Arianna’s Center to where it is today. Despite the fact that Arianna’s Center is no longer able to access funding from TJFP, as their budget size is beyond TJFP’s eligibility criteria, Arianna still wanted to pass that excitement to other activists and leaders who might be starting out, just as she did five years ago, with little knowledge of how to get funding and support for their work. “It’s time for these dreams to come true,” she said. “As soon as you get your first grant, you’re going to start getting different grants because you’re going to start looking for more.”

In particular, she’s acutely aware of the language barrier to accessing most funding available. While TJFP provides a Spanish language application, Arianna wanted to be on hand to explain more of the funding nuances, because she knows “how difficult it is to get access to the first grant…as grassroots and vulnerable activists around the country, especially in the South.” With her experience as a bilingual TJFP grantee, she organized a tutorial workshop and invited TJFP staff as a “bridge” to introduce and explain the TJFP application process to “a lot of emerging leaders and trans led groups around the South.”

It was so wonderful to plan with Arianna to prep for the tutorial and speak to approximately 20 trans organizers from North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico, most of whom were Latinx. This was also a great opportunity for TJFP as well and we were so honored to be able to demystify the grant application process and connect with potential new grantees.  We are so grateful to see someone in Arianna’s position to leverage her power and relationships and provide opportunities far and wide.

Leaders and innovators like Arianna are exactly why TJFP exists.  As they continue to break barriers while simultaneously responding to multiple community needs we see our work as resourcing them and advocating from them in philanthropic spaces.  Thank you Arianna for all of your years of tireless work making significant and life changing impact!

If you’d like to learn more and support Arianna’s Center, please visit their website!

Arianna Lint and Cathy Kapua in 2018

 

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Appreciating our 2021 Grantmaking Coordination/Facilitation Team!

(Clockwise from top left: Zakia McKensey, Cristina Herrera, Cathy Kapua, V Chaudry, Luce Lincoln, Nico Amador)
We want to give a special shout out to the dedication and commitment of our grantmaking meeting facilitators, coordinators, consultants, and staff! Our ninth community grantmaking meeting wouldn’t have gone nearly so smoothly without this amazing crew on hand to support the process. Thank you so much!
Cathy and Zakia, as our dynamic duo of fabulous facilitators, guided our fellows through the grantmaking process with so much care and heart.
Cristina, our grantmaking meeting coordinator, provided so much logistical support and ensured our team remained well fed, supplied, and comfortable through multiple lengthy Zoom meetings.
Nico, who’s been a facilitator with TJFP since the very beginning, stepped into a new role this year, taking detailed notes during fellows’ discussions.
V, a longtime TJFP super-volunteer, lit up the room as tech support/Zoom conductor, and Luce, a 2016 Grantmaking Fellow, took up the reins on short notice when V had to step away!
We can’t thank you enough. Learn more about our incredible team here–we’re so blessed to have these magnificently talented humans as part of the TJFP family!

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