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Advancing Trans Movements Worldwide

Lessons from a Dialogue between Funders and Activists Working on Gender Diversity

  • Published
  • 10 December 2013
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Trans* and intersex movements are rapidly growing, and their advocacy is influencing issues and policies around the world. Increased funding attention for trans* and intersex communities is both a response to and a cause of this activism. Recognizing the need for better coordination and collaboration between donors and activists, Global Action for Trans* Equality, Open Society Foundations and Wellspring Advisors partnered to host Advancing Trans* Movements Worldwide: A Meeting for Funders and Activists Working on Gender Diversity in December of 2013.

These organizations worked in collaboration with six trans* activists as part of a working group to design the agenda, as well as identify activists to participate and speak on the key issues. As a result, 22 trans* and intersex activists, came together in Berlin with 24 foundation and bilateral donors to learn, network, and together identify ways to better collaborate and coordinate to advance the rights of trans* and intersex people. The organizers hope that this dialogue, and the resulting outcomes, will increase the amounts of funding going to support these movements and improve the way that donors and trans* and intersex activists partner to achieve their shared aims

Purpose of the Report

This report serves a number of purposes. The first is to capture the discussions and outcomes towards better coordination and collaboration on trans* and intersex funding. Included are concrete recommendations at the organizational level that could improve an individual donor’s approach to funding on trans* and intersex issues, as well as ideas about how to collaboratively and strategically support these movements. The second purpose is to document the methodology of organizing a donor/activist convening in a collaborative manner. The means to the end of improving the amount and quality of funding is critical. A collaborative process between donors and activists resulted in a meeting that is more relevant, and that builds the capacity of donors and activists.


  • Document the advocacy, service provision, capacity building, and leadership models that have been effective for your organization and movement, and make them accessible for other organizations. This includes sharing funding strategies and skills.
  • Create learning tools for donors and others that clearly define the language and terms that are resonant with the communities you are serving.
  • Establish formal and informal mentoring programs between seasoned and new activists.
  • Participate in spaces where trans* and intersex movements can organize with other movements, such as the rights of women, migrants, sex workers, people who use drugs, and incarcerated persons.