Gender Justice Los Angeles

Gender Justice L.A. is a member-based, grassroots organization that works towards a safe and just society for all transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people.

Gender Justice L.A. is a member-based, grassroots organization that works towards a safe and just society for all transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people. They believe all transgender people should have access to quality, respectful, and affordable health care; freedom from bigotry, harassment, and violence; opportunities for education, employment, and leadership; safe spaces for enhancing spiritual, physical, and social wellness; and the right to self-determination. Through a combination of policy advocacy and community building, Gender Justice L.A. has secured concrete gains for the trans community in L.A. such as changes in the police patrol guide for the fair treatment of trans people and trans prisoners. GJLA continues to fight anti-trans forces in California, responding to attacks on rights they have already secured. GJLA’’s program TRANSform LA is known for its series of workshops over the course of 6 months for trans* and gender nonconforming people. Participants are empowered and given skills to continue working towards radical transformation in Los Angeles.

This organization is supported through the Funding Queerly Giving Circle, which is housed at Astraea.

El/La Para Translatinas

El/La works to build a world where transgender Latinas (translatinas) feel they deserve to protect, love and develop themselves.

El/La works to build a world where transgender Latinas (translatinas) feel they deserve to protect, love and develop themselves. By building this base, they support translatinas in protecting themselves against violence, abuse, and illness, and in fully realizing their dreams. El/La is an organization for translatinas that builds collective vision and action to promote their survival and improve their quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their scope of work includes: (1) HIV Prevention – outreach, education, testing, peer-to-peer counseling, accompaniment, and referrals and accompaniment; (2) Violence Prevention – case management, referrals and accompaniment, and Luchadoras Leadership Development and Translatina Council/Consejo Translatina; and (3) Safe Space and Community – evening drop-in,  family-style celebrations, social networking, expression of spirituality, and life skills groups. As a result of these programs they in turn go out and educate community members about risks to their health and safety, support each other in identifying barriers to full participation in society, and find resources to overcome those barriers. El/La builds visibility and alliances to respond to transphobic attacks and has worked with over 105 city agencies, service providers, programs and collaboratives in San Francisco, the greater Bay Area and beyond. Their work strengthens translatinas’ ability to critique and respond to the systems of violence they face, and the continuation of anti-violence programs addressing violence against translatinas.

Founder of Astraea Grantee Partner QWOCMAP on ABC Channel 7

San Francisco’s ABC Channel 7 News honored the founder of Astraea grantee partner Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP). Madeline Lim was recognized as part of the channel’s Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Salutes, which named six leaders in the community this year. QWOCMAP has been an Astraea grantee partner since 2003. The organization equips queer women and trans people to use filmmaking for social change. QWOCMAP conducts a free16-week film training program; holds film screenings in collaboration with community-based organizations; and hosts an Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival.

ABC Channel 7

Madeleine Lim

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Madeleine Lim - Executive/Artistic Director, Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project

Executive/Artistic Director, Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (KGO Photo)

At the age of 23, Madeleine Lim escaped persecution by the Singaporean government for her organizing work as a young lesbian artist-activist.

Ten years later, she created Sambal Belacan in San Francisco, a film that is still banned in Singapore for its exploration of race, sexuality and nationality. As one of a small number of queer women of color filmmakers on the international film festival circuit, she saw that only queer women of color would tell their own authentic stories. She created Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) with the belief that a community of artist-activist leaders could change the face of filmmaking and the social justice movement.

As founding Executive/Artistic Director, Lim directs organizational vision and provides artistic direction for all QWOCMAP programs. She is an award-winning filmmaker with more than 20 years of experience as a producer, director, editor, and cinematographer. Her films have screened at sold-out theaters at international film festivals around the world, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, and Amsterdam Amnesty International Film Festival. Her work has also been featured at museums and universities, and broadcast on PBS to over 2.5 million viewers. She holds a B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University, where she was awarded Outstanding Cinema Student of the Year.

Lim’s films have received awards from the prestigious and highly competitive Paul Robeson Independent Media Fund, as well as the Frameline Film Completion Fund. She received the 1997 Award of Excellence from the San Jose Film & Video Commission’s Joey Awards and won the 1998 National Educational Media Network Bronze Apple Award. From 2000 to 2003, she was a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence. Under Lim’s leadership, QWOCMAP’s Filmmaker Training Program was awarded 2003 Best Video Program by San Francisco Community Media. In 2005, Lim received the LGBT Local Hero Award from KQED-TV in recognition of her leadership of QWOCMAP and her dedicated service to the queer women of color community.

The Featured Filmmaker at the 2006 APAture Asian American Arts Festival, Lim has twice been awarded the San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission for her new film about her mother and other girls adopted from China. She has won the 2007 DreamSpeaker Award from Purple Moon Dance Project, and the 2010 Phoenix Award from Asian Pacific Islander Women & Transgender Community (APIQWTC).

For more information:

For Grantmakers: Intersections between Race, Justice and Disability

Please join us on May 12th for a briefing for grantmakers about the emerging framework of Disability Justice as central to the success of our broader social justice movements.  No longer accepting disability within a framework of “individual” struggle, Disability Justice activists address disability within a broader social context that includes race, class and sexuality.

An emerging Disability Justice framework provides us the opportunity to learn how disability is interconnected with every other issue, and how our movements can become inclusive and sustainable for all people, of all abilities and identities. We will hear from three visionary activists at the leading edge of Disability Justice.

“People living with a disability may be inconvenienced by living with an impairment, but what oppresses us is the systemic prejudice, discrimination, segregation and violence we face because we do not fall within a perceived ‘norm’.” — Patty Berne, Director Sins Invalid

Sponsors: Aepoch Fund, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Common Counsel Foundation

Register HERE


Thursday, May 12, 2011
2 pm – 3 pm EST / 11 am – 12 pm PST
Register HERE

When you register, you will receive a call-in number and unique pin number to access the call through Maestro Conference. You will receive additional visual materials via email.


Patty Berne, co-founder and director, Sins Invalid, San Francisco, CA
Stacey Milbern, community outreach director, National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN), Raleigh, NC

Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz, co-founder, intersections/intersecciones consulting, Silver Spring, MD

Moderator: Zak Sinclair, Aepoch Fund, San Francisco, CA

Please contact with any questions.

Astraea Supports Publication of Black Lesbians Matter

Astraea grantee partner, Zuna Institute, published the needs assessment report Black Lesbians Matter this week, revealing that Black lesbian visibility is an essential element in the political and economic landscape and providing a glimpse into the lives of an often-overlooked group.

The report, which surveyed Black lesbians across the U.S. aged 18-70, was authored by Zuna Institute Executive Director Francine Ramsey; Gay Men’s Health Crisis CEO Dr. Marjorie J. Hill; and Cassondra Kellam, a PhD candidate at City University of New York Graduate Center.

Download Executive Summary

Download Full Report


Sacramento, CA (July 27, 2010) – Zuna Institute announces the release of the Black Lesbian needs assessment report, Black Lesbians Matter. Authored by Francine Ramsey, Zuna Institute’s Executive Director; Dr. Marjorie J. Hill, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Chief Executive Officer; and Cassondra Kellam, PhD Student, Graduate Center, CUNY, this report examines the unique experiences, perspectives, and priorities of the Black Lesbian community.

The “Black Lesbians Matter” report, the result of a quantitative study, is akin to a Black Lesbian “census.” Regional, statewide, and local organizations that support Black LGBTQ asked Black lesbians to speak up and be heard, to stand up and be counted; 1,596 Black lesbians answered that call by participating in focus groups and through an on-line survey.

Francine Ramsey, Executive Director of Zuna Institute says, ”This report is the result of a year long process, and will lay the foundation for constructive dialog and the creation of an effective collection of strategies that will address the needs of the Black Lesbian community.”.

Brenda Crawford, co-founder of Zuna Institute quotes Rebecca Lee, “For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood the property of all women.”

Vallerie D. Wagner says, “This report accentuates the importance of using our voices to define us for ourselves.  It is our opportunity to speak and have our voices heard and acknowledged; our issues and concerns validated and defined in our own words.  We must continue to find and use our voices, for to remain silent is no longer an option.”

This study was funded by a generous grant from the Arcus Foundation, with additional support from the Gill Foundation and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. The “Black Lesbians Matter” report is available for download at

Zuna Institute is a national advocacy organization for Black Lesbians that addresses such issues as health, economic development, education, and public policy. Zuna Institute brings about visibility and empowerment to the Black Lesbian community, and strives to eliminate barriers that are deeply rooted in public policies that encourage homophobia, economic and educational injustices, and other forms of social discrimination.


Download Executive Summary

Download Full Report

SF Chonicle Features Grantee Partner Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project

The San Francisco Chonicle featured longtime Astraea grantee partner, Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) as they ramped up for their fifth Queer Women of Color Film Festival, held June 12-14 in San Francisco’s Brava Theater. QWOCMAP promotes the creation, exhibition and distribution of new films and videos that address the vital social justice issues concerning women of color and their communities, authentically reflect their life stories, and build community through art and activism. Most of the films of the weekend were produced though their free training program for queer women of color.

Watch film selections from the Festival.

Films Seek to Heal Wounds By Crossing Borders

Justin Berton for the San Francisco Chonicle

Sunday, June 7, 2009–Five years ago, the first Queer Women of Color Film Festival took place in the Rainbow Room at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. With a handful of screenings and a few hundred in attendance, the one-night affair could have been described as quaint.

Now, the growing festival – spread out over three days and representing filmmakers from all over the world – has taken the step from annual artistic showcase to one with larger, social-justice-based aspirations. This year, to go along with the festival’s theme of immigration, a “Community Convening” will be held on Saturday afternoon, designed to bring together what the festival’s founder, Madeleine Lim, calls the gay community’s “multiple borders.”

The idea is that representatives from organizations such as Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Chicana/Latina Foundation will attend and build stronger ties with Lim and other representatives from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; in the wake of divisive policies, such as the campaign against same-sex marriage, Lim said, it’s important that the gay community develop a cohesive coalition.

“Our hope is to impact these issues on a national level,” Lim said of the convening. “We’re trying to bring these disparate communities together to talk to each other and ask, ‘What’s next?’ and ‘How do we move forward?’ ”

Many of the festival’s filmmakers explore the theme of healing old wounds caused by crossing borders – be it on land or within relationships.

In “Mi Casa es Mi Casa,” director Marta Martinez describes the effect of gentrification within her Mission District neighborhood. In “A Letter Home,” director Shahrzad M. Davis visits Iran and writes letters to her Iranian mother. In “Look Again,” directed by Jennifer Lin, a lesbian couple try to build a relationship despite being chased by immigration agents and attempt to stay together by forging immigration documents.

Lim, who fled her native Singapore at age 23, is no stranger to the feelings of an outsider in a distant land.

Lim left the country in 1987 during a time of social unrest; government agents began arresting citizens they deemed Marxists.

“It was artists, priests, lawyers, teachers – all were dissidents,” Lim recalled. “The people being arrested kept getting closer to me. It was then that I decided I had to leave before I couldn’t leave anymore.”

Shorty after arriving in San Francisco, she began taking night classes at San Francisco City College and eventually graduated from San Francisco State University’s film program.

In 1997, Lim released “Sambal Belacan in San Francisco,” a documentary about three Asian lesbians and their difficulties establishing new lives and identities in America. That year, Lim’s film was accepted at the Singapore International Film Festival, but was removed by government censors just before it screened.

Lim was never given an official reason why the film was censored and ultimately banned in her homeland.

“Some people thought it was a badge of honor to have your film banned,” she said. “But I felt really upset. … I had a sense it wasn’t just the sexuality, but the race issues discussed.”

On the same day Lim talked about the banning of “Sambal” (which will screen at the festival), the California Supreme Court had upheld Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, and San Francisco residents were protesting outside City Hall. The day’s events appeared as prime content for a filmmaker, perhaps one who would submit to future festivals, holding that blend of art and social justice.

“That’s one of the reasons I like art,” Lim said. “Art is very proactive. Like with the decision that happened this morning: We do need to rally. We do need to speak out. We do need to be in the streets. But with art, you can come at it from a proactive place. You can envision (in a film) how you want your perfect wedding to be. These are the films that come out of Hollywood every day, but just from a slightly different perspective.”

Queer Women of Color Film Festival: Fri.-next Sun. Brava Theater, 2789 24th St., San Francisco. Screenings are free, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Opening-night party, fundraising party and closing-night party: $5-$20 each. For screening and party schedule, go to www.qwoc maporg or e-mail

This article appeared on page R – 24 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area Spring Fling

Astraea is returning to San Francisco! Catch up with us as we celebrate our Bay Area Spring Fling. With the help of our invaluable friends and supporters, Astraea will bring together a memorable afternoon full of fun, politics and extraordinary showcases from our Grantee Partners.

Leslie Larson, author of Slipstream
A grantee partner from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, Leslie Larson will be reading excerpts from her new novel, Breaking Out of Bedlam, to be published in 2010.

What To Do After The Break-up … With The S#x T@ys by filmmaker Lili Tom
This sneak preview screening from the 2009 Queer Women of Color Film Festival is brought to you by Astraea grantee Partner, Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP)

Along with wine, appetizers and good company…

what could be more fun?


The San Francisco LGBT Center
1800 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Sunday, May 17
2:00 – 5:00 PM

Host Committee:
Eleanor Palacios and Rebecca Rolfe, co-chairs
Alice Hom, Kim Klein, Christine Lipat , Stephanie Roth

Ruby Sponsors: Leonie Walker & Kate O’Hanlan
Pearl Sponsors: Elizabeth Bremner & Karen Crow
Sapphire Sponsors: Alea Woodlee & Mahea Campbell
Jade Sponsors: Daniel Bao, Alvin Baum, Cristy Chung, Alice Dueker, Chris Lymbertos, Laurie Silverman & Betty Mayo
Community Sponsors:


Please consider supporting our Spring Fling by becoming a Sponsoring Partner. Not only does your sponsorship help ensure the vitality of Astraea’s mission, all Sponsorship Partners will receive the following as well:

  • Acknowledgement letter for tax purposes
  • Your name on Astraea’s website for the event
  • Acknowledgement at the event

We hope you’ll share in our success and lend your support today.

If you’re interested in learning more about this event, please e-mail or call: 212-529-8021.

Event Ticket

Price: $50.00

Number of items

Grantee Partner QWOCMAP (Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project) Hosts 3rd Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival

QWOCMAP’s (Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project) 3rd annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival was a rousing success. Over 1600 people attended the weekend festival, held at the Brava Theater in San Francisco.  Despite doubling the seating capacity of last year’s festival, the event sold out every night. Over 200 people had to be turned away.

“We’re really trying to convey the whole spectrum of experiences of queer women of color,” says Madeline Lim, Executive Director. “Some of these films are funny; some of them are really tender. The whole mission of the festival is to showcase a diverse range of experiences, break down stereotypes and to make our stories visible.”

Festival attendees came from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Oregon, Atlanta, Florida, Philadelphia and New York.  Visitors also came from as far away as Canada, Mexico and Europe.  California Legislature Assemblyman Mark Leno personally presented QWOCMAP with a Certificate of Recognition, and the San Francisco Mayor’s office proclaimed the weekend Queer Women of Color Film Festival Weekend.

QWOCMAP promotes the creation, exhibition and distribution of new films and videos that increase the visibility of queer women of color, authentically reflect their life stories, and address the vital social justice issues that concern their communities.  32 of the 40 films of the weekend were produced though their training program. QWOCMAP offers free workshops to queer women of color in filmmaking that reflect our lives and our experiences.

June 13, 2007—: Women’s A Rallying Call for Social Change Through Film

June 7, 2007—The Examiner Women of Color Come to the Big Screen


Founded in 2006, interACT is the first and only organization in the U.S. to undertake a coordinated strategy of legal advocacy for the rights of intersex children while raising awareness and developing intersex youth advocates.

Founded in 2006, interACT is the first and only organization in the U.S. to undertake a coordinated strategy of legal advocacy for the rights of intersex children while raising awareness and developing intersex youth advocates. It’s work is dividted into three main areas: Law and Policy, Youth and Media.

Intersex children have unique legal needs related to questions about informed parental consent for treatment, minors’ participation in decision-making, reproductive rights, medical malpractice and school harassment and accommodation, among other issues. interACT’s primary goal is to end the practice of unnecessary harmful medical treatment and genital surgeries on children born with intersex traits. interACT Law and Policy works to inform and educate both parents and doctors, change laws in the U.S., and influence global policies to protect the rights of intersex children.

interACT Youth fosters intersex youth leadership development to help raise public awareness. interACT Youth recently consulted with MTV to develop an honest and respectful portrayal of an intersex individual in the mainstream TV comedy, “Faking It” and Youth members frequently tell their stories to the media, at schools and conferences. The young advocates have published three brochures echoing their own voices: What We Wish Our Doctors Knew; What We Wish Our Parents Knew, and What We Wish Our Friends Knew.

Astraea Partners with Outfest to Present Vivere

Astraea Partners with Outfest to Present Vivere

Germany , Netherlands, 2007, 97 min, video
In German, Dutch with English subtitles

Directed By: Angelina Maccarone
SCR: Angelina Maccarone

Acclaimed director Angelina Maccarone (UNVEILED, EVERY-THING WILL BE FINE) returns to Outfest with a clever, visually stunning film. On Christmas Eve, Francesca, a taxi cab driver, sets off for Rotterdam in search of her runaway teenage sister Antonietta. Along the way she picks up Gerlinde, a distraught but intriguing older woman whom she is attracted to. Twisting plots and mounting sexual tension gather in this fractured narrative about three lost souls in search of meaning and each other.

Wednesday, July 18th, 7pm
Purchase Tickets