This spring The California Endowment (TCE) named Kris Hayashi (he/him/his), Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center (TLC), as the first ‘out’ transgender person to serve on its Board of Directors. Kris’ appointment comes at a time when transgender communities—particularly transgender women of color, people with disabilities, and those living with HIV—face enormous barriers to survival. Despite well-documented disparities in health and well-being, according to Funders for LGBTQ Issues, for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations in 2018, only 4 cents directly supported transgender communities. Furthermore, their data shows that grantmakers gave only $6.2 million to specifically support the health and well-being of transgender communities across the country in 2018—compared to the $12.6 billion documented by Candid granted nationally that year for health-related work.

Grantmakers In Health (GIH) Program Director Ann McMillan sat down with Kris and Alexander Lee (he/him/his), Project Director of the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, to learn more about how health funders can support transgender communities.

GIH: What are some of the key strategies that transgender activists and their funders are pursuing to fight for the transgender community’s health and well-being?

KH: The lack of attention and services for transgender communities, especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, has forced trans communities to largely rely on ourselves to provide food, cash grants, and housing; to break social isolation; to fight for access to personal protection equipment, vaccines, and testing; and to advocate for our rights.

AL: Funders for LGBTQ Issues works to increase the scale and impact of philanthropic resources aimed at enhancing the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, promoting equity, and advancing racial, economic and gender justice. We launched the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) initiative in late 2017 to provide technical assistance and support to funders to help them deepen their support of trans communities across multiple funding areas.

Read the full article about how to support transgender communities access by Kris Hayashi and Alexander Lee at Grantmakers In Health.