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March 30, 2022

Why Mama Cash supports trans movements

On 31 March, Mama Cash joins trans people and trans activists around the world in celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility. As a feminist funder, we believe it is urgent to support trans activism and movements and to lift up their world-changing, liberatory work.

See the links at the bottom of this page to read more about some of the work we are privileged to support.

Over the past two decades, Mama Cash has witnessed the important role that trans rights groups are playing in feminist movements. Trans and non-binary activists make patriarchal patterns of thought and practice visible, and they call out and challenge these patterns and practices. Their work contributes to creating greater freedom not only for trans and non-binary people, but also for women and girls, and indeed for everyone.

Mama Cash sees the number of applications that we receive from trans rights groups grow every year, which speaks to the vibrancy of trans organising and also to the need for resourcing. When we reviewed the number of applications that we considered for grants between 2016-2018, we saw the number of applications from trans groups had tripled during that three-year period.

See page 9 of the graphic report, Resourcing Feminist Activism.

Fundamentally, we believe that one of the principal sources of oppression and violence facing trans people – a rigid, binary gender norm – is also at the root of the patriarchal violence and oppression experienced by women and girls. Binary gender norms have far-reaching consequences: they govern people’s self-presentation, including the clothing they wear; the work they do; if and how they are able to speak freely and take up space in the world. One of the foundations of political and social inequalities and discrimination on the basis of sex is a belief in gender binaries and in biological essentialism: that one is either a man or a woman, and that whether one is a man or a woman should define one’s rights and access to resources and decision-making. 

We support trans rights groups as part of our mandate to support the building of autonomous, inclusive, pluralist, and resilient feminist movements. Trans people are among those who are deliberately silenced and targeted with violence for threatening patriarchal power relations. They are also among those demanding freedom from the gender norms that confine us all. This is why Mama Cash supports trans and non-binary activism and movements.