Bathrooms just became less safe for trans students. Here's what to do now.

The path toward justice for transgender people in America is not a straight one.

Since the Trump administration seized the steering wheel in the White House, setbacks have halted — and even reversed — progress for transgender Americans when it comes to accessing safe bathrooms. There’s no sign these setbacks will stop in the months and years ahead.

Photo by Arno Burgi/AFP/Getty Images.


If you believe in transgender rights, don't feel helpless. The transgender community needs us now more than ever.

Here are 15 ways to show trans people you're in their corner:

1. Know the facts.

On one hand, research finds many transgender people are harassed or physically assaulted while being forced to use a restroom that doesn't correspond with their gender. On the other hand, the idea that ensuring trans people equal bathroom access will somehow legalize the right for a predator to wander into a women's bathroom is a classic case of fear-mongering born from a myth.

Use the facts to make your case when discussing trans rights with those who want to learn more.

2. Know what policies are in place in your own community's school district.

Trump's reversal on trans students' bathroom rights will likely leave schools making more decisions about restroom regulations. Find out what (if any) policies are in place at the schools near you and advocate for trans students who need you in your own backyard.

Image via iStock.

3. Become a Trevor ambassador for the Trevor Project, the nation's leading LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization.

As calls to their 24/7 hotline surged in the aftermath of the election, the Trevor Project was one of the critical groups providing aid to young people in desperate need.

Many young trans people will rely on them in the months ahead, and volunteers will be crucial. You can become a Trevor ambassador in a city near you and spare some time to help the group do its life-changing work.

4. If you know a transgender kid, reach out to their parents to see if it's OK for you to send your love.

A sweet card, a warm hug, or a trip to the ice cream parlor — just to say "You are loved" — can make all the difference. If you know a transgender adult, reach out to them and see how you, as an ally, can best help efforts toward equality in your own community.

Image via iStock.

5. Fund the resistance through Lambda Legal, a group using the law to help protect trans kids from Trump's policies.

"While the Trump-Pence administration wages its war on children, we at Lambda Legal will redouble our efforts to protect transgender and other vulnerable kids," the group said in a statement. "We are already in court fighting for transgender students, and we are prepared to sue any school district that discriminates in the wake of the Trump administration’s actions."

6. Write a reassuring message to trans students online using the #ProtectTransKids hashtag.

The hashtag, which began trending Feb. 22, is being used to send notes of love and solidarity to anyone who could use it.

7. And while you're on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, share this image to let everyone know where you stand.

1 in 3 transgender youth has tried to commit suicide. These kids need more protection, not less. #ProtectTransKids

A post shared by Liz Plank (@feministabulous) on

8. If it's the right fit for you, become a member of Fierce, or tell someone else about the opportunity.

A New York City-based group, Fierce runs youth-led campaigns and leadership development programs so more young, queer people of color feel empowered to influence the world around them today and in the years ahead.

9. Get involved with the Human Rights Campaign.

HRC is the nation's leading political advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, and equal bathroom access is one of its most important issues.

10. Find out if the schools in your community have a Gay-Straight Alliance.

Again, Trump's decision will give state and local school districts more room to discriminate when it comes to bathroom access. This makes it even more crucial that you know what's happening in the schools in your own neighborhood.

The Gay-Straight Alliance is one group that operates at the local level, helping build bridges between straight, cisgender students and their LGBTQ peers.

Find out if there's a GSA program in your own school district. If there's not, help start one.

11. Take part in a local or national event held by GLSEN, a group committed to making sure every grade school in America is safe for LGBTQ students.

Among many services, the nonprofit does extensive research on how and why schools are failing queer kids and provides resources to educators to help fix the problems.

"While the Trump administration may abandon transgender students, GLSEN won’t," the group's executive director, Dr. Eliza Byard, said in a statement.

12. Buy a shirt from Trans Lifeline and help save lives.

Similarly to the Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline runs a hotline for any transgender person in need. Trans Lifeline, however, is operated solely by trans staffers for trans people, which can make a difference to those seeking help.

If you purchase a shirt from their online store, proceeds go toward helping the group fulfill and expand its mission of saving and bettering lives.

13. Learn more about the causes of LGBTQ youth homelessness, and fight for change.

It's vital we fight for transgender rights when it comes to bathrooms, but we also can't forget about the thousands of trans youth across the country made homeless simply because of their gender identity. Groups like the Ali Forney Center, the Happy Hippie Foundation, My Friend's Place, and the True Colors Fund are fighting every day to help homeless LGBTQ youth access stable housing, employment, and an education.

14. Watch and share this powerful video featuring a trans girl and her loving family on Facebook.

The more people see it, the more hearts and minds will open.

15. Donate to the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

The nonprofit, which began as a grassroots effort in 1979, now provides social programs — like arts and culture, job readiness, and health and wellness initiatives — for LGBTQ people ages 13-24 in and around New York City. It does great work, but it needs your help.

Transgender people have always needed our love and support, but this is a particularly critical moment when each one of us can make a difference.

Whether it's donating what you can, sharing a note online, or simply giving a warm hug, you might be the person a student — maybe in your own community — needs this very moment. Show them you care.

This article was updated on March 6, 2017.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

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via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

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Editor's Note: This story will be updated as events are developing.

A grand jury in Jefferson County, Kentucky has formally charged a former Louisville police officer with with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for his conduct in the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor. According to the Washington Post, the jury said Brett Hankison "wantonly and blindly" shot 10 times into the apartment where Taylor was sleeping. Under the current charges, Hankison faces up to 5 years in prison.

In responding to the charges, Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the grand jury ruled the other officers in the incident -- Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove -- acted accordingly. Cameron urged calm in response to the charge, noting that "peaceful protests are your right as an American citizens," and that many people would be "disappointed" both that the other officers were not charged and some offended that Hankison was charged at all. However, saying acts of "revenge" were not warranted, Cameron said his department's own role is to enforce the law: "It isn't the quest for revenge, it's the quest for truth," adding that he hopes to be part of "the healing process."


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