Today is Trans Day of Remembrance, a day to honor the memory of the trans people who’s lives were lost in acts of anti-trans violence. The day was founded to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people. This year, in particular, as we bare witness to a pile on of not only physical harm of trans people, but also the violence of coordinated attacks via transphobic fear mongering, scapegoating, and the rise of anti-trans bills — particularly those targeting trans youth — marking today weighs heavy. The Black trans-led organization SisTers PGH (who is also featured in the list I compiled below) is honoring trans people of color whom we lost this year to anti-trans violence with their annual Remembering Our Dead portal and I hope that — especially if you are cis — you will take time today to read about not only these deaths in our community, but also the lives they lived when they were with us and the loved ones for whom their light shined bright.
Today is a day of mourning and remembrance, and it is also a day to reflect on the power of survival. I started this week researching and compiling a list of trans-led mutual aid funds, mutual aids that focus on serving trans communities, and trans-owned businesses that we could spotlight, because I believe that in the face of dehumanizing rhetoric and violence that turns our community members into statistics, it is our responsibility to care for one another and change the conditions that impact trans people’s quality of life right now. Not through empty symbolic acts, or by waiting for the next person to do it, but by putting it in our own hands.
If you see a trans person’s GoFundMe going around your timeline, amplify it and give if you’re financially able. If you know of a trans person’s small business, support it. If you know of a trans person who needs a ride to get to wherever, give them one. Especially if you’re cis, ask yourself how are you using your privilege in our community (excuse me, how are we using our privilege) to not just provide lip service, being there and using our privilege to redistribute wealth, to provide safety, to get out of the way and make room, to enact love.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a start. I hope that if you’re trans, and if you might in need of resources, that somewhere in this list you find something that can help with your needs and bring you peace. I hope that you’re cis, in this list you see back a reflection, a reminder, that in this community we take care of our own. It’s that simple. And that you give today — whatever you’re able — to show up with material support for trans people. Then, that you keep showing up every other day, too.
Black & Pink is a prison abolitionist non-profit dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system (you’ve perhaps heard about their penpal program for our incarcerated trans and queer fam) and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that same system. You can give to Black & Pink National, or donate to local individual chapters.
Black trans funds is a community bulletin board of a Twitter account, run by an autistic Black trans woman, that shares GoFundMe’s and other calls for funds to support Black trans people in acute crisis, people seeking to raise funds for gender affirming medical care, and similar requests for help. Follow and then also give to your community.
Launched in NYC in 2019 by a Black trans man — Black Trans Travel Fund (BTTF) was created to provide Black trans women with the resources they need to self-determine and access safer alternatives to travel, where they feel less likely to experience verbal harassment or physical harm. Donated funds are redistributed directly to Black trans women in need, who can then have the autonomy to purchase private car service, gas for their own vehicles, pay family/friends for a ride, or other travel modifications that best suit their comfort and needs. BTTF also funds paying for passports, TSA-PreCheck applications, and plane tickets for Black trans women. After their initial launch, BTTF now services nationwide and across the diaspora.
Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ Center. Located on the South Side of Chicago, all of BSA’s programs, services, and resources utilize a mutual aid framework. Focused on “creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ+ individuals on the South and West sides of the city” — Brave Space Alliance prioritizes serving POC trans and gender nonconforming communities that are the most vulnerable. While Chicago’s few trans-specific resources are primarily located in the majority-white neighborhoods of the North Side, BSA dedicates itself to building services and advocacy networks on the South and West Sides
The Brooklyn Ghost (Guiding & Helping Others Survive Transition) is a Black, trans-led non-profit focused on providing support and empowerment to trans communities of color in NYC. Their Saving Our Own Lives (S.O.O.L.) program provides mentorship to trans and gender nonconforming POC, providing personal, emotional, educational, financial, and transitional growth.
Dreams of Hope is providing leadership opportunities through theater for trans and queer kids. Using art and education as tools for radical change, Dreams of Hope teaches that trans and queer liberation is situated within and dependent on the liberation of all people and that anti-trans and anti-queer oppression is tied to anti-Black racism, anti-semitism, misogyny, poverty, Islamophobia, labor rights, and disability rights. $5 covers the bus cost of one young person to attend a program, $25 covers the cost of a workshop’s creative supplies.
For the Gworls is a Black, trans-led collective that curates parties and puts the money made into funds that help Black transgender people pay for their everyday necessities such as rent, travel assistance, co-pays for medicines and doctor’s visits, and gender-affirming surgeries. Over the years, they’ve redistributed more than $2 million to Black trans people. Donations to For the Gworls can also be set up monthly.
Centering Black trans leadership, GLITS (Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society) approaches “the health and rights crises faced by transgender community members and the sex worker community , holistically using harm reduction, human rights principles, economic and social justice, along with a commitment to empowerment and pride in finding solutions from our own community.” In addition, they provide leadership training, relocation and asylum assistance, and physical and mental health referrals.
According to the U.S. Trans Survey, 1 in 3 trans people in Louisiana report being unhoused at some point in their lives. In response, House of Tulip is a trans-led nonprofit collective creating housing solutions for TGNC people in Louisiana. They provide zero-barrier housing, case management, care resources, and community programming to trans and gender nonconforming people in need while also growing the supply of affordable housing in New Orleans.
This Australian mutual aid fund provides financial and material support to trans and gender diverse people, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are incarcerated. The fund provides support both to trans people in prison as well as post-release, when they are returning home to their communities.
The Little Petal Alliance is a non-profit that assists BIPOC trans people by providing a comprehensive mental health and wellness package that can include therapy, resources to combat dysphoria for those who need it called Gender Euphoria Care Packages (hair removal sessions, make up kits and tutorials, clothing, wigs, etc) and employment networking.
You probably know Meg Emiko’s simple and to the point “Protect Trans Kids” graphic without knowing it — it’s become ubiquitous in queer spaces online. Meg is an Asian American, trans nonbinary artist and activist. Popularly known on TikTok (with over 33k followers) and on Instagram (over 62k followers), they left their full-time job to pursue art a few years ago and have dedicated their bright, poppy art and apparel to making sure that QTPOC feel loved, heard, and represented.
The Okra Project is a Black trans-led mutual aid collective providing support to Black trans and gender nonconforming people to help alleviate daily barriers. The name comes from the history of Africans sneaking okra onto captive ships during the Transatlantic Slave Trade to sustain them and the diasporic Black tradition using the okra plant as a symbol of not only nutrition, but also health and prosperity. The Okra Project began as a way to extend free meals to Black trans people experiencing food insecurity. Now it also encompasses housing, health services, safety, education and employment to the Black trans and gender nonconforming community.
Since 2014, Proud Haven has provided safe shelter, emotional support, and independent living skills for trans and queer youth experiencing housing instability or who are currently unhoused. Focusing on young people between the ages of 12 and 14, Proud Haven offers daily workshops, games, arts and crafts, workshops, movie nights, and resources.
SisTers PGH is a Black, trans-led non-profit serving POC trans communities in Southwestern PA, providing programming, services, and housing. Their expansive community work includes Project T (a trans-led transitional housing program), the home equity committee (which helps graduates of Project T through the process of homeownership), BroThers PGH (community spaces for trans masc people), a TGNC youth collective, and legal name change services. In addition to one-time giving, SisTers PGH also asks for monthly or annual giving to help provide the sustainability that’s vital to their work.
Based out of Toronto, Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk women and trans people who are either currently unhoused or precariously housed. Roughly 70% of the communities they serve are survivors of abuse or are substance users. Using a feminist, anti-racist, trauma informed and relationship based model, Sistering’s programs include a low barrier 24/7 Drop In, housing and case support, peer outreach, harm reduction, and employment services.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) is a legal aid organizationbased in New York City that provides access to legal services for trans, gender nonconforming, and intersex people in need. They also provide public education and advocate for policy reform to end state-sanctioned discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.
The Trans Housing Coalition (THC) is an Atlanta based, trans-led and founded organization that utilizes a person-centered approach to get trans people into permanent, affirmative housing. A guiding principle of the THC is Housing First, which recognizes that housing is a human right and that unhoused people deserve to be offered housing without needing first to satisfy any conditions.
The Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led, non-charitable trust that funds other grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. Their focus is on providing community funding and support to small trans groups with budgets less than $250k. You can learn more about their funding model and you should because I sincerely believe it’s a model is a blueprint.
Trans Lifeline is a trans-led grassroots hotline and microgrants (for name changes, mutual aids for trans people who were recently incarcerated, and gender-affirming hair removal) non-profit that offers direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis. A $25 donation connects a trans person to the hotline, $77 funds the hotline for one hour, and $455 is the average legal fee to update an ID.
The Trans People of Colour Project (TPOC) is a three-year project funded by the Toronto Urban Health Fund. It’s designed to provide greater access to food security, foster affirming support, offer access to useful sexual health education and resources via weekly Drop Ins. Not for nothing, they also did this cookbook (it’s free to download) and it looks amazing.
Sponsored by The Washington Peace Center and led by and for trans and gender-nonconforming people of color, the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC) is an organizing collective that develops and magnifies the leadership of trans people of color. In addition to the Black Trans Health Initiative and focused leadership initiatives in the South and the Midwest, the TWOCC has community funds earmarked for education, daily survival needs, and mental health and wellness.
Transfigure Print Co is a Michigan-based, trans and queer owned, screen printing company. A portion of the profits from many Transfigure items benefit trans and queer businesses, and advocacy efforts (you can see a list of grassroots orgs that have been their partners from across the country). Purchases also support the Transfigure trans fund, which connects trans people in need with funds that they can self-determine and recieve in privacy.
The Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois provides legal assistance and services for trans people in Illinois in a manner that prioritizes community care, starting with three central values: prison abolition, gender self-determination, and transformative justice. They are a client-centered organization focuses on holistic, abolitionist criminal legal services and aims to address gaps in mainstream LGBT civil rights movements.
Founded in 2008, the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts is a non-profit that among other things, provides assistance for low-income and unhoused trans people living in Massachusetts. They help with homelessness prevention, shelter assistance, nutrition assistance, prescription co-pay assistance, and transportation — though at the current moment they are primarily focused on daily life necessities such as food assistance and personal supplies.
Transinclusive Group is a trans-led advocacy non-profit focused in South Florida. The organization also helms the Transinclusive Emergency Crisis Fund/ Mutual Aid, which provides financial assistance for prescription drugs and Hormone Replacement Therapy, transportation assistance, food vouchers, as well as utility and rent payment assistance.
The idea behind Transanta is simple — trans and nonbinary young people under the need of 24 (Transanta notes that they are specifically showing support for those who are houseless, in the foster care system, or otherwise without essential support) write in with their wishlist and needs, you fulfill it. In doing so, you show trans young people that they are loved and cared by a community. How could you not? You can donate or buy gifts (this year’s gifts are not open yet, but donations are accepted year-round).
TransYOUniting is a mutual aid non-profit that provides resources to Pittsburgh’s trans community, focusing on the Black trans community in particular. Through their crisis fund they offer emergency housing, food assistance, winter and emergency supplies, transportation services, and partner with Proud Haven (also on this list) to create community youth spaces.
Since its founding in 2010, True T has been using Pittsburgh’s has a popular underground ballroom scene as a source of not only entertainment, but also activism. where socialization takes place and culture is exchanged. They annual Galaxy Ball has invested more than $50k back into local trans and queer communities. Donations support OPTION-U, short-term housing program and developmental hub prioritizing trans people; holistic wellness programs and services including HIV testing and hormone replacement therapy; as well as ballroom and free community programing.
Woke Kindergarten is a Black, trans-led, early childhood education and creative portal that supports children, families, educators, and other organizations in their commitment to abolitionist, pro-Black, queer and trans led liberation. Their work includes consultations for educators, teachable poems, read out loud exercises, workshops, and more. There’s also a mutual aid shop!
If you have any trans-led mutual aid funds, mutual aids that serve trans communities, or trans-owned businesses that you love, please share them in the comments.