We celebrate Transgender Awareness Week with a commitment to fighting for the human rights of transgender individuals and to working toward building a more just future. And we honor Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20.
To LGBTQ+ young people everywhere, we uplift this powerful message from transgender activist Nikole Parker: “However you express yourself is valid; your experience is valid. You are loved regardless of what you hear in the news and media. There are people fighting for our community every day, and though some days may feel hopeless, please know that you bring a beautiful uniqueness to the world that nobody else does.”
In an increasingly hostile environment created by discriminatory policies and legislation designed to roll back gains in protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, we must all work to create safer spaces in schools and in our communities for transgender and gender-nonconforming young people. All children should have the right to feel safe, affirmed and included in their schools and communities.
We offer the following resources to support and affirm transgender young people at this critical moment when their human rights, well-being and inclusion in schools are endangered.
Resources from Learning for Justice
Dear Young Person, You Are Valued
In this Q&A article, activists Nikole Parker and Brandon Wolf emphasize the need for each of us to advocate for safer schools where all young people are valued. Their message to LGBTQ+ young people is vital at this precarious moment.
Building a Just Future
In this article, scholar and activist Dorothee Benz uplifts the perspectives of four transgender high school activists who share their stories and explain how educators and allies can help them amid the hostile attacks on their human rights.
Gender-Affirming Care: What It Is and Why It’s Necessary
This essential article explains gender-affirming care for youth and why that care is crucial to the well-being of transgender and nonbinary children. Understanding is the first step to countering disinformation and supporting transgender young people.
ChangeMakers for an Inclusive and Just Future
In this short article, LGBTQ+ youth activists from the ChangeMakers Leadership Institute (a program from the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth) advocate for inclusive education and community resilience in the face of oppressive legislation in Florida.
Visibility Is Power
This short article from transgender/nonbinary elementary educator Skye Tooley emphasizes the power of LGBTQ+ visibility in fostering positive spaces of understanding and empathy where all students feel visible and accepted.
A Refuge for LGBTQ+ Young People
This article highlights and explains Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) clubs, a critical resource for transgender young people. GSAs are federally protected spaces for LGBTQ+ young people to survive and thrive in the increasingly hostile anti-LGBTQ+ climate in schools and across the country.
Inclusive Education Benefits All Children
This article from Melanie Willingham-Jaggers and the GLSEN team highlights how inclusive and affirming learning spaces benefit all young people, especially in the context of current hostile anti-LGBTQ+ environments in schools that harm young people—especially transgender youth of color.
Talking With Students About Transgender Athletes
As lawmakers across the country continue to restrict the rights of transgender people—particularly transgender young people—educators can take this moment to start a conversation about transgender identity, justice and ways to take action. This article by transgender/nonbinary educator Skye Tooley provides recommendations and resources.
Policymakers and Lawmakers Want To Erase Trans Identities; Don’t Erase Them in Your Schools
Efforts to narrowly define gender and deny Title IX rights to transgender and nonbinary students pose a serious threat to student well-being. This article offers recommendations for how educators can counter them.
Being There for Nonbinary Youth and Toolkit for “Being There for Nonbinary Youth”
This article discusses ways to support transgender and nonbinary young people, and the accompanying toolkit synthesizes the key tips and takeaways from the article and offers online resources.
Nothing About Us Without Us Is for Us
Youth activist Hazel Edwards recounts her journey from being pushed out of school to teaching her district how to serve transgender students.
Caroline Is a Boy
This 2005 article powerfully examined the challenges faced by transgender and gender-nonconforming students in schools. With the current increase in politically motivated legislation targeting the rights of transgender students and rolling back progress for more affirming school spaces, these challenges continue to be a reality today.
Queer America podcast, Episode 2, “The Experiences of Trans People”
In this episode of our Queer America podcast, host Leila J. Rupp and historian and writer Genny Beemyn bring us stories of transgender and gender-nonconforming figures, from the frontier West to the modern Civil Rights Movement and beyond.
One World Poster: Laverne Cox
Actress Laverne Cox boasts an impressive series of firsts, including being the first openly trans person on the cover of Time magazine. This One World poster features Cox's inspiring words: “We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be and we are what we love.”
One World Poster: Jazz Jennings
Jazz Jennings is an author and advocate for LGBTQ+ people. In 2016, at only 16 years old, she published her memoir, Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.
This poster features Jennings’ quote: “We have to embrace our differences to create freedom and acceptance for all.”