Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.
Trans Lifeline was founded in 2014 as a peer-support crisis hotline. The Hotline was, and still is, the only service in the country in which all operators are transgender. Because of the particularly vulnerable relationship transgender people have with police, it is also the only service in the country with a policy against non-consensual active rescue.
Since our founding, Trans Lifeline’s services have grown to match growing need from our community. Our Hotline has evolved from an entirely volunteer-run operation into a comprehensive resource that employs trans people working as paid operators and team leads. Our operators have logged thousands of hours of talk time with trans people in our community, and, with new volunteers signing up all the time, our capacity is only growing.
In time, we came to recognize that the epidemic of suicide in the trans community is inextricably tied to the economic justice issues trans people face at alarming rates, and that meaningful emotional support often requires financial support as well. In 2017, Trans Lifeline merged with the Trans Assistance Project, which became our Microgrants program. Microgrants offers low-barrier grants to trans people for legal name changes and updated government identification documents, as well as specialized support for incarcerated and undocumented trans people. While this is a relatively new program, we recently celebrated the disbursal of $100,000 in small grants to trans people – all with a commitment to resist gatekeeping and respectability politics.
Trans Lifeline is committed to being a resource that the trans community can continue to rely on for years to come. With your support, we can keep these vital services available to those in our community who need them most.