There has been a growing and concerted effort to pass legislation that would affect the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQ+ community, despite the fact that nearly 76% of US adults oppose such restrictions. Most of these laws target the trans community, in particular. There are currently over 80 anti-trans bills that are pending in state legislatures, nationwide. As of March 26, 2021, approximately 30 states have introduced bills that restrict trans athletes from participating in sports programs.
Trans identity is often misunderstood, so I’ve shared helpful resources for parents, educators, and anyone who is interested in learning more about the experiences of those who identify as transgender. I also shared a list of organizations that engage in advocacy and offer services to anyone who is struggling to find an accepting community or resources to help them navigate discriminatory practices based on their sexual orientation and or sexual identity.
If you’re interested in learning more about the complexities around biology and gender in sports, I recommend reading about the restrictions that have been placed on Olympic athletes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (I.A.A.F.). In particular, I recommend reading this NY Times article about Caster Semenya. If you do not have a subscription to the NY Times, check out this article by the Associated Press.
- LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning. The Center provides definitions for each of these terms, based on the GLAAD’s LGBTQ Media Reference Guide. Note that you may also see other variations like LGBTQI, where the I stands for Intersex. I tend to use LGBTQ+ because I think it’s more inclusive of sexual identities such as Pansexual, Nonbinary, Asexual, and Two-Spirit. See UCSF’s glossary of terms to learn more about each of these terms and more. Also see this article by VeryWellMind to learn more about gender noncoforming.
- LGBTQ+ should only be used in reference to a community or broader issue, not when referring to a person’s sexual identity or orientation or expression. For example, “Toni is gay,” not “Tony is LGBTQ+.”
- Some terms are considered derogatory and should be avoided, such as “Butch,” “Cross-dresser,” and “Dyke.” For definitions and a deeper dive into more terminology, visit this page provided by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) which was adapted from the LGBTQ Center at Montclair State University. Bloomington Pride also provided a comprehensive list. For additional guidance on best practices when using LGBTQ+ terminology, GLAAD shared the editorial guidelines and style books from the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, and The New York Times. Also, check the NLGJA’s Stylebook the Diversity Style Guide.
Trans Educational Resources
- The Gender Unicorn by Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), which is translated into multiple languages.
- GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide and Glossary of Terms for Transgender.
- “LGBT Identification Rises to 5.6% in Latest U.S. Estimate” by Jeffrey M. Jones, published by Gallup.
- “1 in 6 Gen Z adults are LGBT. And this number could continue to grow” by Samantha Schmidt, published in The Washington Post.
- “Among transgender adults, stories about a ‘difficult’ transition” by Sara Kehaulani Goo (2015), published by the Pew Research Center.
- “Fatal Violence Against the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community in 2020” published the Human Rights Campaign (2021).
- “Transgender Americans are more likely to be unemployed and poor” by Christopher Carpenter and Gilbert Gonzales (2020), published in The Conversation.
- “9 questions about trans issues you were too embarrassed to ask” by Katelyn Burns (2020), published in Vox.
- “Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like” by Ana Valens (2019), published in Vox.
- “How to talk (and listen) to transgender people” by Jackson Bird (2017), published by TED. The video is 6 minutes and 24 seconds long.
- Indian Health Services resources for learning more about Two-Spirit and Transgender people.
- My LGBTQ+ & Gender Playlist on YouTube.
- Indian Health Service’s LGBT Trainings and online webinars and resources for improving cultural competence.
- “Homelessness Among LGBT Adults in the US” by Bianca D. M. Wilson and Soon Kyu Choi. Also see “Trans Experiences of Homelessness: Disparities, Discrimination, and Solutions” published by Partnership for Strong Communities.
- “Murdered, Suffocated And Burned Alive – 350 Transgender People Killed In 2020” by Jamie Wareham (2020), published in Forbes.
- “Why sharing gender pronouns at work matters” by Alexis Croswell at Culture Amp.
- “The Lost Year: A new dress, new self-acceptance, and a sudden onset of the soul” by Emily VanDerWerff (2020), published in Vox.
- “Our conversation about anti-trans laws is broken” by Emily VanDerWerff (2021), published in Vox.
Movies and podcast recommendations
- Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
- The Laramie Project (2002)
- The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)
- Before Stonewall (1984)
- After Stonewall (1999)
- The Matthew Shephard Story (2002)
- “Devoted but Doomed” podcast (2020)
- “The Other Tchaikovsky” podcast (2020)
- Studio Voltaire podcast series
- “Trans Dad Freddy McConnell: changing laws, changing minds, changing nappies” podcast (2021)
- “Episode Three: The Trans Tapes” podcast (2020)
- Gender Reveal podcast series
- TransPanTastic podcast series
- “‘It Hurts People’: How Trans Youth Are Being Targeted By State Legislation” podcast from NPR Consider This (2021)
- “Session 203: Exploring Gender” by Therapy for Black Girls (2021).
For parents, educators, and professionals who work with LGBTQ+ youth
- “When Children Say They’re Trans” by Jesse Singal (2018), published in The Atlantic.
- “Trans kids are not new” by Sam Levin (2021), published in the Guardian.
- “Pediatricians say state bills would harm transgender youths” published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Also see “American Academy of Pediatrics Speaks Out Against Bills Harming Transgender Youth.”
- Transgender Adolescent Suicidal Behavior, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (2020).
- “Suppression of Puberty in Transgender Children” by Jason Lambrese, MD (2010).
- Histories of the Transgender Child by Jules Gill-Peterson.
- “Appendix A: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Teens” published by the Pew Research Center (2015).
- “Supporting & Caring for Transgender Children” by Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
- “Affirming vs Non-affirming Parenting” by Gender Spectrum (2017).
- GLSEN’s inclusive classroom resources for educators.
- HRC’s Welcoming Schools.
- Transgender Children and Youth resources for families, community members, school officials, and more by HRC.
- Free online videos and training for educators and youth service professionals, provided by The Trevor Project.
- Stonewall Book Award List.
- A list of LGBTQ+ affirming books for k-12.
- The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families by Rachel E. Simon and Noah Grigni (2020).
- Resources provided by Parents for Transgender Equality National Council.
- Trans Families.
- Indian Health Service’s LGBTQ-Two-Spirit Workgroup
- Resources for parents provided by Trans Youth Equality Foundation.
- Family Support: Resources for Families of Transgender & Gender Diverse Children, shared by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP).
- HRC’s Time to Thrive initiative that supports transgender and non-binary youth.
- “Resources for Families of LGBTQ Youth” by Child Welfare Information Gateway.
- Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE)—for counselors and helping professions, but they have helpful resources for anyone who is interested in learning about how to be more inclusive.
Supportive Trans Organizations and Resources
- Health Coverage Guide, ID Documents Center, and Transgender Legal Services Network, provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality
- Gender Spectrum’s online Consulting and virtual Discussion Groups; also see their YouTube page.
- Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860 in the US and (877) 330-6366 in Canada
- The Trevor Project
- LGBTribe peer-to-peer support
- The CDC’s list of LGBT Health Clinics by State
- Q Chat Space for LGBTQ+ Teens
- The National Center for Transgender Equality
- Center for Anti-Violence Education
- It gets better (for LGBTQ+ youth)
- Transgender Law Center
- Nationa LGBTQ Task Force
- Straight for Equality trans ally resources
Resources for Anyone in Crisis
- Crisis Text Line
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 anytime of the day
- The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889
- LGBTQ+Drug and Alcohol Treatment Resources from TheRecoveryVillage
NOTE: This post was revised to include information for substance use on April 14, 2021, after I received a kind message from TheRecoveryVillage. Additional resources and articles were added on April 18, 2021, based on articles written by Emily VanDerWerff at Vox.