How to Support Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Youth

How to Support Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Youth

Transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) young people should not be the only people working to fight anti-TGNC discrimination and violence and advocating for nondiscrimination policies at school and elsewhere.

Parents, family members, teachers, administrators and other young people can also play a vital role.

DO ask young people what name and pronoun (“he” or “she”) they prefer—and respect it.

DON’T ask transgender youth invasive, inappropriate questions about their body or sexuality.

DO create an affirming environment where individual gender expression is supported and there’s room for discussion.

DO create a forum for antiviolence discussions with other youth; hold an assembly program in your school or community that addresses bullying; or invite guest speakers to share their experiences as transgender youth or adults.

DO support efforts to prioritize TGNC issues in student groups such as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). For instance, check out the Gay-Straight Alliance Network’s Beyond the Binary in California.

DO advocate for policies that respect and protect TGNC young people, whether at school or in out-of-home care settings.

If you need more information about transgender youth and their legal rights, contact Lambda Legal at 866-542-8336 or visit