I’m a 16 year old transgender student living in a small town in Washington State. I first came out to a small group of friends when I was 11, but due to negative reception, didn’t publicly come out until high school. Evan having braced myself for negativity, I was surprised when my grades ended up suffering as a result of my foreign language teacher’s reluctance to accept my pronouns.
Though there was little I could do at the time because my gender was not legally changed, I recognized that this teacher’s prejudice was a direct result of the lack of education she’d had regarding trans students. Working with our school’s GSA and a few supportive staff, we agreed that the entire school in general would benefit from education on LGBTQ subjects. Subsequently, we invited a local LGBT speaker who specialized in school education to speak to our staff on the matter. Additionally we organized a small panel of LGBT students to share their own experiences from within the school, and answer any questions the staff may have had.
During this training we also provided a list of suggestions that our GSA had complied of specific ways teachers could support trans students in both the classroom and in the hallways. Many teachers implemented these changes, especially as they were suggested by their own students, and we all agreed that we saw a positive change in the months following that training. Because of this, we’ve chosen to continue that training once every year for new and old staff members alike.