On Spirit Day, LGBTQ+ people and allies wear purple to show their support to LGBTQ+ youth. We encourage everyone to wear purple and speak out against bullying. Click here for more information on Spirit Day presented by GLAAD.
LGBTQ+ students face a range of difficulties being in school. 85.2% of LGBTQ+ students report being verbally harassed at school. More than half of students did not report experiences of bullying and harassment because they doubted that anything would be done about it, while 63.5% of the students who did report an incident said that school staff did nothing in response or told the student to ignore it.1 This problem can be devastating to LGBTQ+ youth. Transgender youth also face a unique set of barriers that can prevent them from feeling safe in school. For instance, only 17 states (including the District of Columbia) have anti-bullying laws that address gender identity.2
The good news?
LGBTQ+ students with many supportive staff at school are less likely to report feeling unsafe (40.6%) in comparison to LGBTQ+ students with no supportive staff (78.7%.) Supporting transgender youth by using their authentic name and proper pronouns in all aspects of their lives is critical for their emotional wellbeing.3
We want trans students to feel more comfortable attending and being engaged in school, to have the same chances as their classmates to learn and succeed. In collaboration with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, we are thrilled to offer a resource to help alleviate these anxieties and to encourage transgender youth in school to advocate for themselves and their rights: two letter templates that the student can edit and send to their teacher or school administrator to request that they are called by the name of their choosing as opposed to the one on the class roster or academic records. Click the link or scroll to the bottom of this page for the letter templates.
Our goal is that, with this tool, trans students will feel more comfortable and empowered to advocate for themselves. In the future, we hope to develop Trans Youth Day, a regularly occurring holiday that schools, organizations, and students around the country can use to build a school environment that is safe and celebratory for trans youth.
If you’re trans or questioning and experiencing crisis, or if you just need to talk, call Trans Lifeline. All of our operators are trans-identified, and we want to hear from you. USA: (877) 565.8860 / Canada: (877) 330.6366
If you need financial assistance changing your legal name, or in updating the name and gender marker listed on your state and federal IDs, you can apply with Trans Lifeline’s Microgrants program. translifeline.org/microgrants
1Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network “National School Climate Survey” (2015)
2Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network “State Maps” (2018)
3The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine “Chosen Name Use Is Linked to Reduced Depressive Symptoms, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicidal Behavior Among Transgender Youth” (Russel, 2018)