Shifting Culture, Centering Joy: The Black Trans Fund Update


Launched in the spring of 2020 and incubated by Groundswell Fund, the Black Trans Fund (BTF) is the first national fund in the country dedicated to uplifting, resourcing, and building the capacity of Black trans social justice leaders.

As we celebrate Pride Month, we look to our grantee partners for inspiration to change culture and shift the narrative about Black trans communities towards joy and resilience, and away from violence and despair. Black trans leadership is immensely important to center and recognize within the Trans and Queer Justice Movements.

In 2023, we’re proud to share that the Black Trans Fund moved $1.7 million to 59 Black trans-led organizations via direct grants and fiscal sponsorship fees to support power building within these communities.

BTF also launched its inaugural Arts and Culture Fellowship, with four organizations and five participating artists receiving a total of $200,000 in grant support. The fellowship features a hybrid model combining project support with education and capacity-building for Black trans artists and arts organizations that are leading innovative arts and culture work on behalf of the Black trans movement.

Here are two of our BTF grantee partners working at the forefront of trans liberation and visibility:

Image courtesy of Chosen Kin

Chosen Kin

Chosen Kin supports a space for Black queer and trans parents to build community through storytelling and art-making that centers joy, rest, ancestral healing, and care as components of liberation for oneself and the community.

Based in Philadelphia, Chosen Kin supports a national network that honors Black queer and trans parenthood, connecting the community with healing spaces for Black liberation. Led by Black trans and nonbinary parents and organizers, Chosen Kin holds playdates, family retreats, and a bi-weekly virtual parent space to create a network of advocacy and support for Black trans, gender-expansive youth and parents.

Participants have experienced increased attacks and challenges navigating transition-related healthcare and supportive services as a result of state-based anti-trans legislation aimed at creating fear and confusion for families supporting trans youth.

Image courtesy of The Brown Boi Project

The Brown Boi Project

The Brown Boi Project is a grassroots community organization of Black and gender-expansive people of color who predominantly identify as masculine of center, transmasculine, two-spirit people, and allies and share a commitment to changing how communities of color talk about gender.

Founded in Oakland, the Brown Boi Project develops leaders who intend to bring a strong racial and gender justice lens to their work. Through leadership development, network resilience cultivation, healing justice, financial education, and exposure to community organizing, the Brown Boi Project has worked to cultivate safe spaces to explore and develop liberatory frameworks around gender.

With support from the Black Trans Fund, the Brown Boi Project hosted the Freeing Ourselves Florida-based youth leadership pilot initiative in partnership with S.O.U.L. Sisters leadership. Through this project, BBP engaged in virtual training sessions to gather Black trans masculine and gender-expansive youth from southern states to develop a “liberatory masculinities” toolkit to support participants in facilitating their own gender justice/masculinity groups in their local communities.

BTF has built a relationship of care with grantees and their communities that has allowed the ability to source feedback as a trusted philanthropic partner. Through collaborations with Groundswell’s Birth Justice Fund, BTF will continue to explore new ways to ensure reproductive justice includes the needs of Black trans and gender-expansive communities as part of the movement.