“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Create a Safe Environment for LGBTQI+ Youth
It is important to build a safe environment for all LGBTQI+ youth. Parents, schools, and communities can all play a role in preventing bullying and helping LGBTQI+ youth feel physically and emotionally safe.
- Encourage respect for all students.
- Prohibit bullying, harassment, and violence against all students.
- Conduct social-emotional learning activities in school to foster peer-relationships and help students develop empathy.
- Identify “safe spaces,” such as counselors’ offices or designated classrooms, where LGBTQI+ youth can receive support from administrators, teachers, or other school staff.
- Encourage student-led and student-organized school clubs that promote a safe, welcoming, and accepting school environment (e.g., gay-straight alliances or gender and sexuality alliances). Schools must allow these clubs or groups if they have other “non-curricular” clubs or groups. Learn more about the right to form a GSA under the Equal Access Act.
- Ensure that health curricula or educational materials include HIV, other STD/STI, and pregnancy prevention information that is relevant to LGBTQI+ youth.
- Use inclusive language and avoid making assumptions. The words we use can make help people feel acknowledged and create a sense of belonging. For example, using “y’all” when referring to a group conveys gender equality rather than using “guys.” Use gender-neutral pronouns like “they” or “them” instead of “he/she” or “him/her.” You can also use words like “parent” instead of “mother” and “father.”
- Use students’ chosen names and pronouns.
- Train school staff on how to create safe and supportive school environments for all students, including LGBTQI+ youth.
- Facilitate access to community-based providers who have experience providing health services, including medical, counseling, social, and psychological services, and HIV/STI testing for LGBTQI+ youth.
To learn more from our JEDI page, please click here.