At Borealis Philanthropy, we believe in a future where transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people live with freedom, self-determination, and safety. This fall marks the fifth anniversary of our Fund for Trans Generations (FTG)—a time for celebration, and also a time to reflect on lessons we’ve learned, while necessarily centering trans activists of color who are leading this work towards a limitless future. 

On September 22, 2021, FTG hosted BIPOC Trans Leaders in Conversation: Reflections on Trans Movement Building and What Lies Ahead. This vital donor-learning event provided an opportunity for funders to learn firsthand about what is happening in trans communities across the United States directly from leaders of grantee partner organizations. We brought together donors, along with our advisory committee that consists of five trans and non-binary activists, to reflect on the past five years, the impact of FTG’s support, and what the next five years might look like for trans movement building. 

The featured panelists included community leaders Rumba Yambú of InTRANSitive, Zahara Green of TRANScending Barriers, and Lilianna Angel Reyes of Trans Sistas of Color Project. Writer, activist, and past FTG advisory committee member Raquel Willis served as moderator for this conversation.

During the webinar, each of the panelists imparted wisdom from their trans movement building work, speaking frankly yet from the heart on wins, setbacks, and where philanthropy must do better.

Watch Rumba Yambú on InTRANSitive’s wins in a time of both grief and increased awareness of Arkansas’ trans community: “Since last year to date, we’ve given out over $30,000 in cash to trans people in Arkansas. And that’s how we’ve been able to find…Black trans women and girls who live in really remote areas of Arkansas. And nobody had a clue like there are Black trans women and girls there.”
Watch Zahara Green of TRANScending Barriers tell funders that they must reach out to Black trans leaders directly: “Speaking of holding philanthropy accountable, part of the ways is ensuring that Black trans-led groups are being funded and that funding is reaching directly to Black trans leaders, especially in the South…”
Watch Lilianna Angel Reyes of Trans Sistas of Color Project advise funders to look beyond best practices and work with people to fund their ideas: “Even when you look in the medical field for trans bodies, the best practices may be best to some but they’re often not best to the people that they’re serving. […] If you really want to make change, figure out how you can fund people’s idea of what change is and not vice versa.” 
what lies ahead

We extend deep gratitude to Rumba Yambú, Zahara Green, and Lilianna Angel Reyes for sharing their respective reflections and visions for the next five years of FTG. We encourage you to invest in the powerful work of BIPOC trans organizers and to consider partnering with the Fund for Trans Generations at Borealis Philanthropyso that together we can ensure that the needs of these communities are resourced.  

To learn more about joining the Fund for Trans Generations donor collaborative  contact Maya Berkowitz, Borealis Development Director, at