Trans and intersex people face shockingly high rates of violence and discrimination. Yet 60 percent of trans groups and 72 percent of intersex groups receive no funding from foundations. None.
These are the findings of two new reports Astraea is proud to release today—The State of Intersex Organizing and The State of Trans Organizing—in partnership with Global Action for Trans Equality and American Jewish World Service. Despite exponential growth in LGBTQI funding, we find that international funders continue to under-resource and neglect intersex and trans groups.
Our reports, based on data from more than 450 trans groups and more than 50 intersex groups in 107 countries, send a strong message to philanthropy: the funding gap for trans and intersex groups is an outrage that has real-world impact on people’s lives. It must be remedied.
Intersex and trans activists are leading powerful movements for liberation, but their progress is hampered and they risk burnout from this lack of funding.
Government funding is the largest source of support for LGBTQI issues globally, but just 6 percent of trans groups and almost no intersex groups receive it. In 2016, 56 percent of trans groups and 77 percent of intersex groups had budgets under US $10,000. As a result, intersex and trans groups are chronically understaffed—fewer than 1 in 5 intersex groups and 1 in 3 trans groups have full-time paid staff.
As a feminist and LGBTQI funder, Astraea is committed to bolstering the sustainability, resilience and resistance of trans and intersex communities. We have supported trans groups since 1996 and launched the world’s first Intersex Human Rights Fund in 2015, yet the resource gap remains dire. In a stark finding, 77 percent of trans groups and 74 percent of intersex groups report needing support in healing from trauma and preventing burnout.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s time for philanthropic institutions and individuals to step up to end these funding inequities. The International Trans Fund and Intersex Human Rights Fund are two activist-led funds that are shifting power and resources to the frontlines of intersex and trans organizing.
Director of Philanthropic Partnerships