Prizm News / April 15, 2019 / By Ken Schneck

A pair of applications aimed at underscoring LGBTQ work just went live.

By Ken Schneck

Two important opportunities are now available to buttress and distinguish important work on behalf of the LGBTQ community. 

Affirming Parents of Trans Youth

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The Transgender Children’s Legal Defense Fund (TCLDF) just opened their online grant application process for those seeking financial assistance to affirm families of transgender, gender fluid, and gender questioning minors with an impending custody trial and opposed by a non-affirming parent or guardian. These grants are awarded quarterly, based on demand and availability of funds, with the standard grant amount usually being in the nature of $2500. Preference is given to applicants who are based in Ohio or whose case will be heard in Ohio.

These grants are one of the many ways TCLDF works to ensure that transgender, gender fluid, and gender questioning minors will have the safe, supporting home environment that they deserve. 

“Custody trials can be devastatingly expensive for families who just want to affirm and protect a transgender minor,” said Ben Cooper, President of the Board of TCLDF. “We believe it is important to help fill the gap for these families while we educate judges, magistrates, attorneys, and Guardians ad Litem about the needs of transgender youth.” 

The grant application can be found here and an FAQ here

TCLDF will also be holding a Taco Tuesday event on May 14 at The Kitchen in Columbus with a portion of the proceeds going back to support the organization’s work. More info on that event here

Nominate an Illuminator

The city of Columbus is now accepting applications to nominate a deserving Central Ohioan to receive the Shellabarger Illuminator Award. Created in 2016, the award recognizes an individual within the Columbus community who has demonstrated outstanding initiative to promote LGBTQ rights and, in doing so, has created a more inclusive Columbus. 

The first recipient of the award was, unsurprisingly and most deservedly, longtime Columbus resident and activist Steve Shellabarger. He was integral to starting the local chapter of the Human Rights Campaign and has shared his unending energy, strong passion for justice and gracious leadership with the Columbus AIDS Task Force (now Equitas Health), and Stonewall Columbus. Linda Schuler and Gloria McCauley received the award in 2017 and John Sherman Lathram-Brungs and Scott Schopper were recognized in 2018. 

2018 Illuminator Award recipients John Sherman Lathram-Brungs (top row, far left) & Scott Schopper (top row, far right) at the 2018 Columbus City Hall Pride Illumination. (Photo by Staley Munroe)

Nominees for the 2019 award must live in Central Ohio and must not be any of the names listed above who have previously received the Shellabarger Illuminator Award. The nomination form can be found here

We must pause here to note that sponsoring an LGBTQ-specific award is far from the norm when it comes to municipal governments, particularly ones in the Midwest. As the current federal administration has eliminated most references to the LGBTQ community on the White House’s website—most notably scrapping the entire page on LGBTQ rights—it is critical that we flood opportunities such as the Shellabarger Illuminator Award with worthy nominations so that we can continue to shout out to the world that our contributions are present, seen, and heralded.