LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Grindr for Equality, the Grindr app's program for LGBTQ health and human rights, announced today that it will grant a total of $100,000 to organizations and activists providing direct services and advocacy to the LGBTQ communities throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
With ongoing repression and marginalization of LGBTQ groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa region, reliance on the digital world to safely communicate has become fundamental for many, yet this realm often leaves them exposed and threatened. In order to identify methods to help protect and embolden these users, Grindr for Equality has been aiming to increase the safety and security of LGBTQ communities in this region.
"Over the past five years, Grindr for Equality has established a deep commitment to the Middle East and North Africa," said Jack Harrison-Quintana, Executive Director of Grindr for Equality. "These LGBTQ organizations receive the least funding of any region — five times less than the next lowest — but we believe in the incredible work being led by activists to make a better world for queer people there, and I'm so proud we've been able to step up our support in this way."
The grantees represent nine countries/territories, including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, and others. The five US$10,000 winners include the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMash) and Middle East-North Africa Trans Initiative (MENATI). Ten additional organizations will receive US$5,000 for projects ranging from HIV services, capacity building for LGBTQ leaders, and holistic security trainings for the community.
"LGBTQ organizations in the Middle East-North Africa region are often forced to work underground. Many can't register as non-profits or make themselves loud and visible like activists in other parts of the world," said Azza Sultan, Associate Director of Grindr for Equality. "But we're seeing incredible success in collaborations with feminist movements and other intersectional areas of social justice there, which is reflected in the winners of this year's grants."
"We appreciate Grindr's commitment to support and enable local organizations to mobilize the LGBTQI community in the MENA region. By not just acknowledging, but providing resources for local grassroots efforts, Grindr is emphasizing the power and influence of collaborative impact," said Esra'a Al Shafei, the Founder of Ahwaa.org, one of this year's grantees. Elisabeth Strandberg, board member for MENATI echoed that sentiment: "For a few years now, an independent trans movement has begun to see the light of the day in the MENA region. The journey has not always been smooth, and funds are always an issue. Grindr's offer of financial support this year comes at a crucial moment."
ABOUT GRINDR FOR EQUALITY
Grindr for Equality (G4E) is an initiative within Grindr focused on the ever-evolving mission to promote justice, health, safety, and more for LGBTQ+ individuals around the globe. G4E works with health, digital rights and LGBTQ/human rights organizations as well as local community leaders and queer activists to find ways of using the Grindr app, technology and platform to mobilize, inform, protect and empower Grindr users.
G4E has played an important role in a number of LGTBQ+ related causes including helping to advance the cause for legalized same sex marriage in the US and Australia; making Grindr safer for users in places where it's not safe to be out, such as the Middle East/North Africa region; and more recently leading the initiative to make Grindr more trans-inclusive. Jack Harrison Quintana, Director for Grindr for Equality, has been named one of Fast Company's 2016 Top 100 Most Creative People in Business and one of Foreign Policy Magazine's Top Global Thinkers.
With over 4.5 million daily active users in virtually every country in the world, Grindr has grown to become a fundamental part of users' daily lives globally since its launch in 2009. The company continues to expand its ecosystem to enable all users to connect to the world around them. Grindr encompasses a diverse and passionate team fueled by an endless curiosity, an ability to embrace change, and a respectful and collaborative work environment. Grindr is headquartered in West Hollywood, California. The Grindr app is available on the App Store and Google Play.