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.

via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less