Standing for LGBTQ Rights and Safety in Challenging Times

April 12, 2022

Crises of the past two years have posed serious roadblocks to social justice advances worldwide, and as recent months have shown, 2022 offers no respite. In the southern United States, a wave of state-level policies threatens to undo hard-fought progress toward LGBTQ rights and recognition. Elsewhere, LGBTQ communities continue striving to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are upheld. In the face of these challenges, the latest partners in Arcus’ Social Justice Program are working to advance human rights while keeping LGBTQ communities safe through community organizing, movement building, policy advocacy, public education, and more.

Bolstering LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion in southern Africa
Funding for Iranti supports efforts to advance the rights of trans, intersex, and LBQ women throughout southern Africa. Iranti works to educate medical practitioners and policymakers on intersex and trans issues, advocate for policies to ease the process of changing gender markers, and build public awareness of the lives and experiences of queer and gender-nonconforming women.

The Other Foundation received funds to support grantmaking to organizations advocating for safety, legal protection, and social inclusion of LGBTQ people in southern Africa, particularly in Arcus’ focus countries of Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa. Efforts supported by The Other Foundation include a regional network of church leaders and faith communities advocating against violence and discrimination; trans and intersex networks advocating for an end to forced genital surgeries; and development of a protocol to better integrate LGBTQ activists into crisis intervention.

Protecting LGBTQ rights in the U.S. and at its southern border
Proteus Fund received support for its Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative fund, providing grants to coalitions of LGBTQ and reproductive justice organizations in Georgia and New Mexico that are working to combat harmful policies aimed at restricting LGBTQ rights and reproductive justice under the guise of religious exemptions.

A grant to the Transgender Law Center supports the Border Butterflies Project, which assists LGBTQ migrants at the U.S./Mexico border and advances community-led approaches to ensuring safety and justice. The project provides LGBTQ migrants with legal services and basic needs like shelter and food while organizing members of the migrant community to advocate for fairer and more humane immigration policies at the U.S. federal level.

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) received a grant for its work to advance safety and legal protections for trans and nonbinary people in the United States. Through strategic litigation, TLDEF challenges trans-exclusionary policies in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. The organization’s Name Change Project provides pro-bono legal services to trans people seeking legal name changes, while its Trans Health Project is working to expand access to equitable, trans-affirming healthcare through education and advocacy.

Building a safer world for LGBTQ communities
Global Interfaith Network (GIN) received funding to support faith-based narratives and advocacy for LGBTQ inclusion in countries throughout the Global South. By forging strong alliances between religious and secular organizations, training faith leaders to speak up for LGBTQ rights, and sharing stories of faith communities taking a stand for justice, GIN is working to shift the narrative from Botswana to Honduras.

A grant to United Caribbean Trans Network (UCTRANS) supports a growing network of organizations working to document the lives and needs of trans people in the Caribbean, expand legal recognition of trans rights throughout the region, and provide training to trans leaders and allies.

Hivos received funds to support grantmaking to organizations working to advance LGBTQ rights across Central America, with an emphasis on smaller organizations addressing the intersecting needs of LGBTQ, Indigenous, rural, youth, and migrant communities.

Learn about all Arcus grants awarded since 2007.