The Importance of Trans Youth Allies
Did you know…
• 1 in 3 transgender-youth reported attempting suicide?
• Almost 1/3 of transgender youth reported being victims of sexual violence.
• More than 50% of transgender youth reported a 2-week period of depression.
Allies are so important to adolescent psychosocial identity development and mental health well-being. Adolescence is a key developmental period where youth are exploring and forming identities. Having family support makes a huge difference and can significantly alter the course of a young person’s life. Unfortunately, many trans youth are lacking family acceptance.
• Only 27% of trans youth report that their families are very supportive.
• 8% of trans youth report that their place of worship is very accepting
• 9% of trans youth report that their communities are very accepting.
As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done to help create inclusive spaces where LGBTQ+ individuals, especially trans youth can feel supported and accepted!
How Can I Become an Ally?
Provide a Safe Place
Having inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ youth can help build on self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Examples include a safe home environment, LGBTQIA+ advocacy and support organization spaces (including school and work spaces), and community or mentor spaces. A safe place is where one can come to be their authentic self and where they can also feel physically and emotionally safe.
Provide Acceptance & Support
Use the name and pronouns that aligns with one’s gender identity to help support, respect, and validate one’s gender identity and gender expression. Be available to listen to youth without judgment.
Nurture & Encourage
Transgender youth need the support of family and community allies to help nurture their journey with gender identity and gender expression. Unconditional love/ acceptance are important to affirm youth and show you care about them. Seeking out a LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist can also be beneficial.
Educate yourself about the needs of trans youth and the LGBTQ+ community.
Learn how to become an advocate. Take action within your home, school/ workplace, and community. Consider partnering with one of the resources below.
Family Acceptance Project– https://familyproject.sfsu.edu/
TransLifeLine– https://translifeline.org/ or Call (877) 565-8860
Trans Youth Family Allies–http://www.imatyfa.org/
The Trevor Project– https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Queerspace Collective– https://www.queerspacecollective.org/queer-space-hangouts
For further reading check out the Trans Youth Family Allies reading recommendations here.
To schedule an appointment with one of our professional counselors, click here.
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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