Transgender and gender nonconforming youth have faced decades of discrimination, harassment, verbal and physical assault, and isolation from our communities, yet we have always come out stronger. With a government that has tried to police everything from what we wear to which bathroom we use, trans youth need to remember the power we hold within ourselves even when society targets our very existence. As we continue on our journey for gender justice, trans youth need to remember how amazing we are and that none of us is alone in this fight for equality.
For those families who are fearful for their trans child, keep fighting for a better future. The most important thing any parent can do is to keep loving and supporting your trans child, especially at this time when society is so focused on us. TRUTH has beautiful videos and stories of parents and families who support their trans children. Consider sharing your own story to amplify the message of love and support for all youth.For trans and gender nonconforming youth, whether you have family support or not: remember how valuable you are and that you matter in this movement. Do not allow your school, your government, or your family’s perception of what gender should look like limit you in your identities. Give yourself the freedom to be your authentic self, trans and all.
As for allies, use your voice to show your support for trans and gender nonconforming communities in this moment. Share concrete ways that you will show up for the trans youth in your community with the hashtag #ShowUp4TransYouth. A simple action can have a lasting effect, from having conversations with the communities you’re part of to simply being there for the transgender youth in your life.
Violet Martinez is a member of the national youth council for Transgender Law Center and GSA Network’s TRUTH program. She is a transfemme student of color, advocating on issues and taking on the intersectional lens of LGB[T]Q rights, sex workers rights, mental health awareness, youth leadership,and educational/juvenile justice. She is also the vice president of Transwomen Empowerment Initiative.