Leelah Alcorn, who died on December 28, asked that the money sold from her belongings be donated to trans civil rights organizations.
[Trigger Warning on the credit: it goes to her suicide note, which is frank about the abuse she endured.]
Here are some of the many, many organizations out there that are doing critical and amazing work for trans people worldwide.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share!
1. The Leelah Project (U.S.-based; may support internationally)
Alex Yrigoyen made a Tumblr post offering to send a free care package of clothes to transwomen in need. Due to overwhelming demand both for packages as well as offers to donate, Alex has now set up a dedicated Tumblr to coordinate packages and is also fundraising to help them be able to send 500 packages.
2. Trans Lifeline (U.S. and Canada)
Trans Lifeline is a free volunteer-run helpline dedicated to supporting trans people going through a crisis. Besides donations they are also seeking volunteer operators from the trans community.
3. TransOhio (U.S.)
TransOhio provides multiple services to the greater Ohio trans community, including a full calendar of events, community resources, legal & medical information, a speakers’ bureau, and listings of support groups across the state. They are seeking donations, writers for their newsletter, volunteers, and participants for their I AM TRANS video series.
4. PBKS Center, Chow Kit (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
The PBKS Center, which provides housing and social services to trans people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and sex workers in Malaysia recently lost critical funding from the Malaysian Government, which has historically been hostile towards these communities. A couple of their programme managers are key activists with Justice For Sisters, which have advocated for the rights of transwomen in Malaysia, including raising funds for legal support for transwomen arrested for charges of ‘crossdressing’ and fighting for - and winning! - a ruling by a State court declaring anti-crossdressing laws to be unconstitutional.
5. Trans* care at Mazzoni Center (Pennsylvania, U.S.)
The Mazzoni Center’s Trans* Care Clinic provides all manner of health services and education geared towards the trans community (many of them for free), from pediatric and adolescent health services to hormone and laser therapy, as well as counselling and legal services. They are also host to the annual Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, a free three-day program of workshops, presentations, and activities focused on the health needs of trans people.
Transgender Network Switzerland, part of Transgender Europe, advocates for the rights and proper representation of trans people in Switzerland as well as providing resources and support to the local trans community, including networking opportunities. You can participate as a member, a donor, or a volunteer.
7. TransTech Social Enterprise (Illinois, U.S.)
TransTech provides apprenticeship programs for trans people in graphic design and web development. Besides technical knowledge, apprentices are also educated and empowered in leadership, harm reduction, social justice, financial aid for further education, professional development, financial education, and many other skills aimed at self-sustainability. Their creative media services are pay-what-you-can for individuals, artists, and small non-profits, and they provide hourly and package quotes upon request.
8. Gender DynamiX (South Africa)
Africa’s first organization focused on the trans community provides research and resources for trans and gender-nonconforming people as well as healthcare professionals, journalists, and researchers.
9. Trans Youth Support Network (Minnesota, U.S.)
Among the resources and services provided by this partnership of youth and community members in Minnesota include a leadership academy and resources on health, identity, and “the restroom experience”. You can join as a youth or network member, or donate.
10. Asociación Silueta X (Ecuador)
Silueta X’s founder Diane Rodriquez made history in Ecuador by setting a legal precedent for trans people to change their names to reflect their gender and being the first trans candidate to run for elected office in Ecuador. There is currently a Twitter hashtag campaign, #DianeRodriguezMeRepresenta, to show support for Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Silueta X continues to provide health advocacy and social services to the Ecuador trans and queer community, as well as pushing for laws against discrimination due to gender or sexuality.
11. Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) (U.S.)
TSER provides educational support and material to make schools a much more accepting environment for trans students, including workshops and infographics on trans-related matters. Trans people can volunteer online and anyone can donate.
12. Blue Diamond Society (Nepal)
Blue Diamond Society, the main organization for gender and sexual minorities in Nepal, was instrumental in significant rights for trans people and identity documentation, such as allowing a third gender option on passports and immigration forms.
13. Casa Ruby (Washington D.C., U.S.)
Named after El Salvadorean trans activist Ruby Jade Corado, Casa Ruby’s Bilingual Drop-In Community Center provides services such as meals, support groups, housing referrals, and legal counseling. They take donations and are looking for volunteers.
14. TransInterQueer e.v. (TRIQ) (Berlin, Germany)
TRIQ provides social, political, and cultural advocacy and support to the trans, intersex, and queer community in Berlin. Among their activities are a community center, a current art exhibition of trans people at work, and lobbying for trans rights. Anyone, including non-Berliners, can join in as a Sustaining Member.
15. Trans Youth Equality Foundation (TYEF) (Maine, U.S.)
Amongst the various youth-oriented services provided by TYEF are youth retreats and a regular podcast with interviews from the trans community and their allies. You can help sponsor a kid to attend their camps.
16. Sahodari (Tamilnadu, India)
Sahodari is a transgender-run organization working with trans and intersex people in the Tamilnadu region of India through economic independence, performing arts, citizen journalism, matrimonial support, and other programs. You can donate, sponsor educational opportunities, volunteer, or host a speaker.
17. Heartland Trans* Wellness Group (Midwest U.S.)
Heartland Trans* Wellness Group provides resources and education on trans and LGBTQ health to health providers, non-profits, corporates, and community groups. You can volunteer, intern, or donate.
18. Thai Transgender Alliance (ThaiTGA) (Thailand)
ThaiTGA runs various advocacy and community programs for transwomen in Thailand, including commemorations of International Human Rights Day and Transgender Day of Remembrance, seminars on trans issues and politics, and various artistic competitions for and about the trans community.
19. TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) (U.S.)
TYFA partners with educators and community service providers to co-create supportive environments for trans kids and their families, through various education programs and a speakers bureau as well as donating, volunteering, and taking a survey.
20. Trans Media Watch (U.K.)
Trans Media Watch proactively works with media organizations to ensure fair and accurate representation of trans and intersex people in the U.K., including media training for trans groups as well as style guides for media organizations. Media organizations and the general public can sign up as supporters or members, and you can take part in their media perceptions survey.
21. TGI Justice Project (TGIJP) (Bay Area, U.S.)
TGIJP fights for justice for incarcerated trans people through answering prisoner letters with resources and research on their rights in prison. You can volunteer to help answer these letters or donate and volunteer in other ways; they’re especially looking for bilingual letter-writers.
22. World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) (International)
WPATH is best known for their Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People as well as their biennial international symposia on transgender health. You can donate to the General Fund and to a fund dedicated to translating the Standards of Care into multiple languages.
23. Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) (New York, U.S.)
SRLP provides legal services and training on trans-related legal matters, as well as active policy advocacy on issues such as solitary confinement and healthcare. There are many ways to get involved with SRLP, including donations, volunteering, and being part of the Prisoner Advisory Committee.
24. Mermaids (U.K.)
Mermaids consists of parents and families of gender-variant children and teenagers. They run an information line and email address, host poetry by gender-variant children, and links to other resources in the U.K. and worldwide.
25. TransActive Gender Center (Oregon, U.S.)
TransActive Gender Center provides various health and wellness services to the Oregon trans community, including voice coaching and distributing free binders to those in need. Besides donating binders to In A Bind you can also volunteer and donate.
26. Zoe Belle Gender Centre (Victoria, Australia)
While in the process of establishing a physical gender centre in Victoria, the Zoe Belle Gender Centre provides plenty of online resources for Australia’s sex and gender diverse community, including a youth suicide prevention program. You can help out by volunteering or donating to the project.
27. Camp Aranu’tiq (U.S.)
Camp Aranu’tiq hosts summer camps and weekend camps for gender-variant kids and their families in New Hampshire and California. They are currently seeking support to purchase, renovate, and endow a one-hundred-sixteen acre lakefront property in New Hampshire; if you can’t donate money you can also volunteer your time to renovating the space.
28. Gendered Intelligence (U.K.)
Gendered Intelligence serves trans youth in the U.K. though regular youth groups, mentoring, family support, arts projects, awareness training for professionals, and an annual weekend camp. You can donate them through donations, volunteering, or supporting their Stop the Silence campaign against gendered bullying.
29. Trans Women of Color Collective (U.S.)
A network of collectives across New York, Ohio, Louisiana, and Washington D.C., TWOCC has been working endlessly on providing pathways for leadership and advocacy especially for young people, including the #BlackTransRevolution Summit in October. They are currently fundraising to provide more opportunities and services to trans youth.
31. Chicago House (U.S.)
Amongst its various services to marginalized communities in the area, Chicago House has a dedicated TransLife Center that provides housing, legal, and employment support to the Chicago trans community. You can support by donating or volunteering.
32. The Gender Centre Inc. (New South Wales, Australia)
The Gender Centre Inc., partially funded by the N.S.W. State Government, provides a wide variety of resources to the Sydney trans community, including regular events and workshops, toolkits and factsheets, counseling services, and a quarterly magazine. If you would like to donate to them, call them at +61 (0)2 9569 2366 or send them an email.
33. Gender Spectrum (U.S.)
Gender Spectrum hosts all kinds of educational resources across the board of the trans experience, including parenting and family, faith, mental health, and much more. They also provide trainings, support groups, and consultations on gender identity, including a Spanish language support group.
34. Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) (International)
GATE’s international coalition of trans activists have been actively campaigning against the pathologization of trans people in the International Classification of Diseases. They have also prepared a report on the state of trans and intersex organizing based on extensive research.
MTPC works on advocacy, education, and community-building for trans people in Massachusetts, including summits for trans youth and parents, founding Trans Awareness Month, and various fundraisers and parties. They are currently working on a #WeAreMTPC photo campaign, and there are many other ways to take action.
36. Gender Matters (West Midlands, U.K.)
Gender Matters hosts a wide variety of social activities, events, and services for the trans community in West Midlands and beyond - including creative projects and police surgeries, where members can discuss issues that matter to them with the local police in a safe space. Some of there recent projects include an exhibition of the journeys of trans people in the West Midlands and an in-house fitness program.
37. Trangender Foundation of America (Texas, U.S.)
The TFA Center in Houston is home to the Transgender Archive, hosting all kinds of archival material of international transgender history - from magazines dating back to the 1700s to artifacts going as far back as the Roman Empire. The Houston Center also hosts various spaces and services for the Houston trans community.
NCTE has been very successful in pushing for Governmental policy changes affecting trans people in the U.S., including employment protections, identity records, and prison rights. They also have resources for lawmakers and the general trans community, guides on educating Congress, and many other ways to take action. You can support their work as a member or a donor.
39. Transgender Law Center (Bay Area, U.S.)
The Transgender Law Center researches and advocates for a wide range of legal issues faced by the trans community, including the #morethanmarriage campaign advocating for greater visibility of trans rights in LGBT activism, partnering with the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative to support trans employment rights, and cultural competency trainings to immigration officials. You can support their work in many ways, including joining their Cooperative Attorney Network and contributing to their My Authentic Life campaign to share real stories of trans lives.
Do you know of any others? Please share them with us!
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