Trans Action Kit
Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, Transgender Awareness Week from November 13 to 19, and Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience on November 20, are important moments for trans inclusion, to create safe and inclusive schools for trans students. But making school trans-inclusive is a year-round effort.
According to GLSEN research, compared to other students in the LGBTQ community, transgender and nonbinary students face more hostile school climates. To learn more, see GLSEN's full research report and webinar on trans student experiences, and our report on trans students and school facilities, co-authored with Movement Advancement Project.
Below is a wealth of resources that center trans, including nonbinary students and educators. These resources share personal experiences and can help students and educators learn about gender diversity, pronoun visibility, trans students' rights, inclusive curriculum, and GSA practices.
- Trans and GNC Student Experiences Webinar
- Educators Can’t Ignore Trans Students. Our Futures Depend on It
- Follow Their Lead: How Schools Can Help Transgender Educators Thrive
- How Using Gender-Neutral Language Can Break the Silence of LGBTQ Students
- When I Came Out as a Trans Principal, This Was My School’s Response
- 6 Ways I Make My Science Class LGBTQ-Inclusive as a Trans Teacher
- 5 Ways Educators Can Support Trans Students Now
For the many types of events throughout the year around transgender and nonbinary issues, we have put together an action kit to give you ideas that you can use at your school.
Transgender Day of Visibility
- Highlight Trans historical figures. You can use the LGBTQ History Cards to share stories and the impact figures made!
- Trans and nonbinary centered conversation. Ask trans and nonbinary folks if they are comfortable sharing their stories and their needs from allies. This is a great time to pass the mic and listen.
- Social Media visibility: Share your photo or video on social media channels. Disrupt threads typically dominated by cis folks like #LGBTQ #Pride #Beautiful etc. Add to threads such as #tdov, #TransIsBeautiful to see the amazing community that pops up throughout the day. (Always consider your safety before posting anything public) ***if you are not able to be visible, that is ok, you are still valid.
- LGBTQ History Cards: Select the cards in the deck about transgender people and share with your GSA, write about them in a class, or print out the biography and share them on a poster at school. You can purchase a deck of cards from our store or you can print out the cards from our website.
- Make a playlist that highlights trans artists and play it in your GSA or classroom.
- Host a fun Pride Party with your GSA!
- Use this as an opportunity to wear statement items to show solidarity with Trans and LGBQ students, such as a rainbow lanyard or pin.
International Pronouns Day
- Pronoun buttons from the GLSEN Store
- Elementary Lesson: Little Words that Make a Big Difference
- GSA Activity: Misgendering and Respect for Pronouns
Intersex Awareness Day
Educate yourself: Learn about intersex identities and unpack the harmful ways societal practices have limited our autonomy over our bodies that especially impact intersex people. “People who are intersex are more common than you think! Experts estimate that as many as 1.7% of people are born with intersex traits – that’s about the same number of people who are born with red hair. People with intersex traits aren’t all the same, and some people may not even know they are intersex unless they receive genetic testing (this may happen, for example, with athletes). Intersex people are not that uncommon — they just have been mostly invisible.” There are ways to take action and advocate from our friends at InterACT.
Transgender Awareness Week
- Transgender and nonbinary student and staff panel: Ask for volunteers who identify as transgender, nonbinary, agender, two-spirit, gender queer etc. to be on a panel. This could be held at your GSA meeting, District-wide event, community center, assembly, or library. It is important that the panelists feel safe sharing their stories. Participants should never be forced to answer questions they do not want to answer. Create questions ahead of time and share them with the panelists, this will give them an opportunity to give you feedback and let you know if they do not want to answer any of the suggested questions.
- Film screening with discussion: Select a film based on transgender issues to screen in your GSA, community center, class, district-wide event, or library. Here is a list of recommended films: Major!, Gender Revolution, Paris is Burning (has adult content), Happy Birthday Marsha, Pose, Kiki, etc. After the film, have some questions prepared to engage attendees such as “Could you relate to any of the characters in the film? If so, how or why?”
- Centering trans and nonbinary voices: “Centering” means actively listening to what trans and nonbinary people are saying. If you are planning an event for Transgender Awareness Week, ask the folks who identify as trans and nonbinary what activities they would like to happen, what solidarity and allyship look like in these spaces. Offer if they would like to take the lead on anything you are involved in organizing.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
- Say their names: Hold a memorial during your GSA or at an appropriate time at school. Write out their names and ages on a 3x5 postcard and encourage folks in the room to take one and read the name out loud. You can hold a moment of silence for each name or at the end of the reading. After, you can tape the names to a poster and have it hanging in your GSA room or a designated space somewhere at school.
- Honor their lives: Along with saying their names out loud, instead of reading how they died, you can do some research and say something about their life. For example, “Paris Cameron was a vibrant and beautiful young Black trans woman. She lived in Detroit with her friends.” This humanizes the victims and allows for deeper connection and responsibility to each other. Remembering the lives of the victims reminds us to continue fighting for those still alive.
- Build an altar: Build an altar in a designated space where you can display the names and photos of those whose lives were taken. You can decorate the altar and share a short write up about what the altar is about and who it is honoring. Do not use real flammable candles, instead, you can use battery-operated or you can make candles out of paper for symbolic purposes.
- Commit to advocacy: Learning about systems of oppression and the impact it has on certain identity groups will help focus your activism and advocacy. Fighting for the rights of transgender people helps them access basic human necessities like education, safety, employment, love and friendships, family, housing, medical care etc. Every small action, whether good or bad, has a lasting impact. Build a community and environment where violence and discrimination against anyone is not tolerated. Commit to making your school inclusive for transgender and nonbinary people.
- What Does Allyship With Non-binary Students Look Like?
- I’m a Trans Student of Color. Supporting Me Means Fighting White Supremacy
- I’m a Trans, Disabled Young Person, Not One or the Other
- What Happened When I Studied a Trans Civil War Soldier for History Class
- 8 Affirmations from Trans Folks for Students Struggling with Pronouns
- 4 Toxic Messages I Learned About Gender (and 4 to Teach Instead)
- I’m Non-Binary, and “Trans-Accessible” Restrooms Should Include Me, Too
- My School Failed to Protect Trans Students Like Me
- When I Wore a Suit to Prom, My Teacher’s Response Was Perfect
- My 6-Year-Old Trans Daughter Wrote a Letter to the Court
- How Do We Make Math Class More Inclusive of Trans and Non-binary Identities
- Dear Trans Students, from a Trans Educator | #HUMANIZEME
- Advice on Making Trans-Inclusive Schools, from My Queer School Counselor