Youth & Students

Transgender and gender non-conforming youth face challenges at home, at school, in foster care, and in juvenile justice systems. A national survey by GLSEN has found that 75% of transgender youth feel unsafe at school, and those who are able to persevere had significantly lower GPAs, were more likely to miss school out of concern for their safety, and were less likely to plan on continuing their education.

Critically, it is not just hostility from peers that threatens equal opportunity for transgender and gender nonconforming students.

Too often, school officials themselves single out these youth by refusing to respect their gender identity and even punishing them for expressing that identity. For example, 59% of trans students have been denied access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Rather than focusing on their education, many students struggle for the ability to come to school and be themselves without being punished for wearing clothes or using facilities consistent with who they are. Some are denied opportunities to go on field trips or participate in sports. Together with bullying and victim-blaming, these conflicts can lead to disproportionate discipline, school pushout, and involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Thanks to the hard work of parents, youth, educators, and state equality advocates, many states and local school districts have adopted anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws and policies that explicitly include gender identity and expression, as well as developing specific policies and training that spell out what nondiscrimination means for trans students.


From the Blog

October 27, 2016

TX judge clarifies Title IX enforcement limits as case proceeds

Last week a Texas federal judge ruled federal officials are temporarily barred from enforcing students’ rights with regard to school restroom and locker room use under the federal Title IX law. The next day, the U.S. Justice Department filed a notice of appeal in the case.

October 4, 2016

Two Federal Courts Side with Transgender Students

In the last two weeks, two different federal courts in Ohio and Wisconsin have held that the federal Title IX protects transgender students from discrimination, including being forced into a separate restroom. Both cases involved students who had struggled with their schools over multiple school years before turning to the courts.

August 4, 2016

New Report Shows LGBTQ Students Targeted for Discipline

Our colleagues at GLSEN recently released a troubling report detailing the educational exclusion of LGBTQ students in our nation’s schools. The findings overwhelmingly confirm that LGBTQ students are more likely to experience unfair discipline.

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August 8, 2017

Tell DeVos—No More Attacks on Trans Students and Survivors

DeVos started her job by rolling back lifesaving guidance supporting trans students.

March 29, 2016

Tell NC Legislators: Repeal Anti-Trans Law!

Tell North Carolina legislators to repeal the discriminatory House Bill 2.

March 25, 2016

Gov. McCrory: Stop Targeting Trans People

Tell North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory to stop targeting trans people.

July 10, 2015

Tell Your Senators to Support the Student Non-Discrimination Act

The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), which would protext LGBT students from discrimination, is coming up for a vote in the Senate.

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