Being a Better Ally to Transgender Youth


For this year's Ally Week, our campaign is focusing on the idea that everyone- no matter one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race, etc. can become a better ally to someone else. All students can become better allies to trans and gender non-conforming students by deepening their understanding about what it is like to hold that identity in school today. We hope the activities below help to shift the national conversation on allyship from simply becoming allies to taking further steps in learning how to be a vocal and active member of the ally movement!


“A kid in my class made a racist remark at the lunch tables and I told him that it wasn’t very nice, especially since there was a person of color at the table. Then the same kid used the word ‘gay’ in the bad way and I told him not to do that because it’s rude and because my uncle is gay and my brother is gender nonconforming.”

– Chase, age 10


Actions in a minute: 

  • Tweet about how you're becoming a better ally to transgender and gender nonconforming youth using hashtag: #AllyWeek and #BetterAllies.
  • Practice asking someone's pronouns in a respectful way.
  • Learn how to become a better Ally to trans and gender nonconforming students here.
  • Think about these steps you can take to create a safer, more inclusive environment.
  • Sign up for the Transgender Student Rights email list here
  • Ask your Congressperson to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act!

Actions for an hour:

  • For the next hour, pay attention to how often you witness anti-transgender bias language in your life. Empathy is often the driver of change.
  • Print out our “I am an Ally” selfie resource, put your name on it, take a pic, and post it on the GLSEN Facebook page.
  • Learn about the Benefits of Schools Resources for Transgender Youth here
  • Familiarize yourself with the rights of your trans and gender nonconforming peers by reading our resource here
  • Check out the resources offered by Transgender Student Rights, a grassroots student-created organization to support trans and gender nonconforming students 

Actions for an afternoon:

  • Check out GroundSpark's free streaming of the documentary Straightlaced - How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up. This documentary works as a great discussion starter and alliance builder. Get your free access to Straightlaced here!
  • Is there something your GSA could be doing better? Read through Part 7 of GSA Jump-Start Guide titled “Where's the “T” in GSA?” to make sure your group is as trans-inclusive as possible.
  • Start planning a campaign to create all gender bathrooms at school, such as single-stall bathrooms.
  • Find out what your school, district, and state policies are regarding trans and gender nonconforming students and take a look at our Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students and see if any areas of your local or state policies regarding need to be addressed 
  • Decorate a bulletin board at your school that reflects transgender and gender nonconforming leaders from today or the past.
  • Help educators at your school learn to be a better ally by watching GLSEN's Webinar on Supporting Trans and GNC students.
  • Organize your own Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize those lives that were lost due to anti-transgender fear, bigotry and hatred.

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