In the current crisis caused by the COVID-19, lesbian* communities find themselves in particularly precarious situations. EL*C has been in touch with the lesbian* community, lesbian* organizations from Europe and Central Asia, and we are continuously receiving information, learning about what they are currently going through, both in their activist work and their personal lives.
We are observing lesbians being trapped in potentially dangerous situations due to the crisis, from young lesbians obliged to quarantine with their lesbophobic families, to older lesbians that cannot go out, do not have family on which to rely on, and are provided food and medication by the local lesbian community. Lesbians are being fired by their employer, as a result of their families not being recognised as equal to heterosexual ones, or not recognised at all.
We are also witnessing with great concern the recent attacks in some of the countries against the trans community and against women’s rights, specifically their sexual and reproductive rights. These acts of violence demonstrate how the crisis is being instrumentalised, in some contexts, to roll back on the rights of minorities and on women’s bodily autonomy. Lesbian movements, often at the forefront of the fight for women’s and LGBTI rights, constitute an easy target for nationalist, far-right and anti-gender narratives, and are in particular need of support during the current crisis.
Consequently, we are constantly trying to come up with plans and strategies on how to be of help, and also how to hold on to the lessons that we will inevitably learn in this crisis and how to make the solutions sustainable and secure resilience of the movement. As one of the many measures that we are currently undertaking, we have decided to establish an EL*C Urgent Response Fund, to be able to financially support the lesbian movement. The call for applications is now open.
Small grants are intended only for lesbian led and lesbian* groups in Europe and Central Asia, that are working primarily on supporting and advancing the position of lesbian communities. Lesbian* groups can be registered and not-registered. These grants are not intended to support individual applicants.
Small grants can only be used in response to the Covid-19 crises, which may include: Direct support and services to the lesbian community (such as food, shelter, psychosocial support, etc.); Advocacy activities (such as advocating for Covid-19 response measures that are inclusive of lesbian needs and interests); Communication and campaigning activities (such as social media campaigns, press clipping, online tools, etc); Operating costs (such as office costs, rent, utilities, etc)
Grants can range from 500 EUR up to 3000 EUR.
There is no deadline to apply, as EL*C will be receiving applications on rolling bases, subject to funding availability. EL*C Selection Committee will be evaluating applications as they come, and will be informing applicants as soon as possible.
This application form is in English, and we encourage you to use this language, as it will facilitate our evaluation processes. Your English doesn’t need to be perfect, and you can also use different translation tools, such as Google translate, to translate to/from your local language. In case this is not possible for you, send us an email, and we will do our best to provide you support in your local language.
Please, fill out the form below as precisely and concretely as possible. In case you have any questions or need support with filling out the form, please: send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on May 19, 2020 at 01:00 pm CEST via Zoom Meeting at this address https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85069655187.
About the term “lesbian”
Our aim is to have an inclusive European and Central Asian Network. We insist on calling it a lesbian although we recognize that, as with any category or label, it may be contested and insufficient to describe the diversity of our communities. We are aware that many previous lesbian gatherings have struggled with issues about who should or should not be included. However, using the word “lesbian” is part of the political struggle for visibility, empowerment and representation. We therefore use “lesbian*” in our name with an asterisk, so as to include anyone who identifies as lesbian, feminist, bi, trans or queer, and all those who feel connected to lesbian activism.