The Uplift Fund

Every day, OUTMemphis witnesses the resilience and courage of transgender individuals as they navigate the realities of legal and social discrimination in the Mid-South. We recognize the unique barriers they face in achieving socio-economic stability, positive health and wellness, and career and education advancement. We believe that transgender individuals deserve the same access to opportunity and stability as all – but we need the funding and support to do so.

The Uplift Fund provides one-time $500 grants for individuals who identify as transgender, nonbinary, or gender expansive who are 18 and older, in support of overcoming financial barriers to opportunity — whether that be a necessary car repair, access to a conference, costs of gender-affirming care or practices, legal expenses, or similar expenses.

In 2024, the Uplift Fund will support 12 individuals.

Examples of Uplift Fund Grants

  • Gender affirming care, including HRT, laser hair removal, surgery, etc.
  • Access to medical care of any kind or assistance with medical expenses, including deductibles or co-pays, but excluding health insurance premiums
  • Self-care or wellness expenses
  • Clothes for job interviews or to affirm your gender
  • Educational, professional, or career-related expenses
  • Binders, shapewear, or gender affirming clothing, or prosthetic expenses (other gender-affirming expenses not mentioned here are all eligible).
  • Travel for professional, education, or medical purposes
  • Down payments or other initial or repair expenses for vehicles or housing; ongoing rent, mortgage, utility, or other needs are not eligible
  • Books, fees, tuition, or other expenses for education at an accredited institution
  • Moving expenses or start-up expenses for a new apartment
  • Independent professional activities such as art or music projects (including supplies, instruments, or other needs), startup costs for a small business, or community organizing projects

Nonfundable requests:

  • Food or everyday hygiene supplies expenses
  • Rent payments, mortgage payments, utility payments, or debts (Please contact OUTMemphis at 901-278-6422 or [email protected] to learn about possible resources such as food and housing assistance)
  • Grants for, or for the benefit of, parents, caregivers, spouses, or partners of trans individuals who are not transgender
  • Daily, local transportation expenses
  • Insurance premiums (health, vehicle, life, or otherwise)
  • Investments in any sort of investment vehicle, including stocks, bonds, CDs, or cryptocurrency

2024 Application Dates


Applications Open: February 1
Applications Close: April 17
Grantees Notified: June 3

4 awards total


Applications Open: June 30
Applications Close: August 16
Grantees Notified: September 20

4 awards total


Applications Open: October 1
Applications Close: November 15
Grantees Notified: December 13

4 awards total


  • Applicants will complete an application form that can be submitted on paper, completed online, or completed by-phone with OUTMemphis staff. If you have any questions or barriers to completing the application, please contact us at 901-278-6422 or [email protected] and by visiting during drop-in hours at the Community Center.
  • After final selection, participants must undertake an approximately 30-minute intake meeting (virtual or in-person, at the discretion/need of staff) with an OUTMemphis staff personnel.
  • Participants may be awarded a maximum of 1 grant per calendar year and a maximum of 2 grants per three-year period.
  • Participants may only apply 1 time per cycle. Multiple applications will not be considered.
  • Participants must be current residents of the following counties: Shelby, DeSoto, Crittenden, Tipton, Fayette
  • Participants must be 18 or older.
  • Quality of writing will not be considered whatsoever in evaluation of the application.

Methods of Payment:

  • Check, Visa Gift Card, or ACH.
  • Payments will not be reimbursements or direct payments to vendors.
  • Personal bank account is not needed to receive funds.

The Uplift Fund is made possible by the generous support of Lena Chipman and Amanda Banker.


If you are seeking assistance and are 18-24 years old, we strongly encourage you to contact [email protected] before applying for the Uplift Fund.

If you are under 18, we strongly encourage you to apply for the Campaign for Southern Equality’s Southern Trans Youth Emergency Grants by having your parent or caregiver contact [email protected].