Showing Support for Transgender and Non-binary Students

While the Trump administration’s actions to rescind federal guidance does not end the protections trans students have under federal law, it is sure to create fear and uncertainty for your students and their families.  You have probably been watching this new administration make decision after decision that disrespects your LGBTQ+ students (and maybe yourselves) and seeing the heightened emotions seep into your classroom. Educators can make a difference by ensuring their students and broader school communities know that transgender students are still protected and they still have rights. They are valued. They are loved. 

What can you do?

Be Mindful: Your transgender and non-binary students need your words of encouragement, support, and focus right now. Talk to your students or GSAs and give them space to voice their feelings.  Remember that your students have intersectional identities, and that different actions are already creating stress for some of your students and their families.

Share your Values: Last year Ten national education organizations announced a national call to action, affirming the rights of all students to attend school in an environment free from fear and violence. Use this resource to call on your administration to affirm their commitment to protecting transgender students. 

Educate to Support: Make sure your colleagues, students, and school administration know that Title IX still protects transgender students’ rights to a safe learning environment, free from bullying and harassment. The National Center for Transgender Equality have created this FAQ on the withdrawal of federal guidance on transgender students for you to share with your students, families, and colleagues.

Stay Informed: Sign up for GSAFE’s mailing list to receive information about how you can directly take part in policy and organizing actions that protect transgender and non-binary students in your community and across the state.  GLSEN Up keeps you informed about how to take action to support LGBTQ+ students across the country.

Use Resources: GSAFE provides trainings and consultations for school staff, students, and families across Wisconsin.  Teaching Tolerance, Welcoming Schools, GLSEN, Gender Spectrum, Groundspark offer resources, lesson plans, classroom videos, and more to help you create and sustain a positive learning environment that supports transgender and gender nonconforming students.     

Show Support: Your students may be feeling panicked by the change in the Title IX guidance as well as other Trump administration actions that target people of color and immigrants.  Address their concerns and make sure they feel welcome and affirmed. 

Adapted from: GLSEN

Download article as PDF

Testimonials

“Without the knowledge, resources, and extra effort of GSAFE, I have no question that we would not have a Gay-Straight Alliance in our school.” – David Witte, Middle School Principal