It's time to stand up for trans people. Here are 21 ways to show your support.

Transgender people in this country are in the fight of their lives. This is no exaggeration.

Between fighting for safe spaces in schools, pushing back against hurtful bathroom bills, railing against bigoted local policies disguised as religious freedom, service members being pushed back into the closet, and the constant threat of harassment, sexual assault, and violence, transgender people are truly fighting for their lives.

Now more than ever, we need to stand with transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Here are 21 ways to do just that.


1. Use preferred pronouns and names.

It's not difficult and it shows that you respect and acknowledge someone's identity. If you're not sure which pronouns someone uses, ask.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

2. Need a new book or podcast? Support transgender creatives.

Books, essays, articles, or podcasts are an easy, affordable place to start. This is not only a way to hear rich first-person accounts of some of the issues affecting the transgender community, but buying books or downloading podcasts is a great way to support trans creators financially.

Here's an awesome list of transgender authors by genre to get you started.

3. It's time to start calling people out. Stand up — even when it's hard.

Don't let your friends or family get away cruel "jokes" or snide remarks. It's not always easy, but being an ally isn't a spectator sport. A simple, "That's not OK" in conversation can remind people that words have consequences.

4. Put your money where your heart is and support organizations showing up for trans people.

If you have any extra money, consider donating it to groups like TransLifeline or the Trevor Project. These organizations are on the front lines supporting transgender youth and adults in crisis. If money is tight, consider saving up or donating your next birthday to the effort.

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images.

5. Follow, read, and share transgender voices on social media.

In addition to go-tos like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox, voices like Chris Mosier, Dominick Evans, Katelyn Burns, Emily Gorcenski, and Upworthy's own Parker Molloy are a great place to start.

6. Back Sam, the first educational transgender toy, on Kickstarter.

This sweet toy helps kids explore what it means to grow up transgender. It's great for all kids, not just kids who might be exploring different aspects of their gender identity. Watch this sweet video introducing Sam to the world.

Sam's Story

Meet Sam, the inspiration behind the world's first educational transgender toy. Watch Sam's Story then support our mission to stop transphobia before it starts by pledging on our Kickstarter: http://theyouinsideproject.com

Posted by Enfants transgenres Canada/ Gender Creative Kids Canada on Wednesday, June 14, 2017

7. Trans women of color are being murdered at an alarming rate. They need your support more than ever.

If you don't know about this epidemic, here are the facts. In 2016, at least 22 transgender people died as a result of violence. In 2017, 15 have already been killed by violent means.

Ask your city council, police department, and everyone running for local office what they plan to do to prevent these tragedies. Don't accept non-answers. Lives are at stake.

8. With that in mind, speak out against the gay and trans panic defense.

In 48 states, alleged murderers can defend their actions in court by suggesting the victim's sexual or gender identity triggered their crime. California and Illinois are the only states that have banned this defense. Talk to your state legislators to find out what you can do to advance legislation banning this defense in your state.

9. Volunteer to help transgender-supportive candidates, in your area or nationally.

Bigoted policies don't reach the governor or the president's desk in a vacuum — bigoted people put them there. Help candidates who stand with transgender people get elected or keep their seats.

People arrive to hear Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speak during a rally to thank volunteers and supporters. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

10. Make sure the places you frequent are inclusive.

Check out the policies or bylaws at your workplace, gym, or community center to make sure they're welcoming and inclusive of transgender and gender-nonconforming people. If not, talk to the powers that be about how to create or improve the nondiscrimination policy.

11. Get out in the community and volunteer.

Use the United Way's search tool to find opportunities supporting the LGTBQ community in your area.

Volunteers man the phones at the Trevor Project Call Center in West Hollywood. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

12. Too busy to volunteer? Support the helpers.

You may not have the time to commit to a weekly or monthly volunteer opportunity, but consider dropping off bagels, coffee, or a thoughtful card to those who do. Drop off the goodies at your local crisis center or LGBTQ community space.

13. Attend LGBTQ events, rallies, and activities.

This doesn't mean co-opt safe LGBTQ safe spaces as your own, but instead, attend Pride and Trans Day of Remembrance events as an ally. Look in your community calendar for LGBTQ film festivals, gallery exhibitions, comedy shows, or demonstrations to attend.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

14. Fund a day of self-care for a transgender person.

Being constantly attacked and scrutinized by your own government is exhausting and a little self-care can go a long way. Awesome folks online are bringing allies together to fund nights out at the movies, co-pays for therapists, or just encouraging notes. Support their effort or donate directly to a friend in need.

Given the news from 45 that will deeply affect the trans community today, we, as allies, accomplices, and...

Posted by Jerilyn Hassell Pool on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

15. Reach out to the transgender people you know.

A kind word, phone call, or simple text can mean a lot. Let them know you stand with them today and always.

16. Listen, watch, and share stories from transgender people and their families.

There are so many great first-hand accounts that deserve to be heard, like this story of a dad speaking up for his trans son, this Republican, Christian mom staring down bigots to stand up for her daughter, or this story of a woman's coworkers surprising her with a party after her transition. These stories need to be heard.

17. Support trans troops and veterans.

Trans people have served this country proudly in every branch of the armed forces. When policies and declarations attempt to push them back into the closet, call your senator and representative to make sure they're standing on the side of equality. Consider supporting the Transgender American Veterans Association too.

18. Reconsider how you use gendered language.

While some trans people have no problem being referred to by gender-specific phrases like "ladies and gentlemen," inclusive language is just as welcoming and leaves no one out. Just recently, the transportation system in London abandoned "Ladies and Gentlemen" in announcements because "Hello, everyone" works just as well.

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

19. Model how to stand and support trans people for the kids in your life.

Kids are always watching. Let your kids, or the kids in your life, know that you stand up for transgender and gender-nonconforming people, including them. Encourage the kids in your life to stand up for their friends and do what's right, even when it's hard.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

20. Look up where the companies you love fall on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.

Sure they make great burgers or T-shirts, but does your favorite brand treat its LGBTQ employees fairly? Do they buy goods and contract services from LGBTQ suppliers? If not, consider adjusting your loyalty.

21. Vote.

If you're sick and tired of the mistreatment of transgender people and other traditionally underrepresented groups by their own government, then remember to do your research and vote. Every election — every time.

Now, more than ever, transgender people need our support.

Stand with them, signal boost their voices and stories, and let your elected officials know that discrimination will not be tolerated. Transgender people are fighting for their lives. It's time for some backup.

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Chris Evans is playing the lead role in the upcoming Pixar film "Lightyear."

Chris Evans was already skilled at squeezing hearts on social media, cavalierly sharing sweet pics of his adorable dog and piano-playing videos on Instagram, as if we could just casually watch him be a near-perfect man without swooning. And now he's being even more delightful with his gushing giddiness over getting to play his dream role.

The guy is already best known as the studly Marvel superhero Captain America, so what could possibly top that? Pixar, apparently. Evans' ultimate acting dream is being in a Pixar movie. And now that dream is coming true, the most eligible of the Chrises could not be cuter in his expressions of joy.

Sharing the new trailer for "Lightyear"—Pixar's origin story about the astronaut the Buzz Lightyear toy was based on in the "Toy Story" universe—Evans wrote on Twitter:

"I'm covered in goosebumps. And will be every time I watch this trailer. Or hear a Bowie song. Or have any thought whatsoever between now and July cause nothing has ever made me feel more joy and gratitude than knowing I'm a part of this and it's basically always on my mind."

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Cipolla's graph with the benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself and causes to others.

Have you ever known someone who was educated, well-spoken and curious, but had a real knack for making terrible decisions and bringing others down with them? These people are perplexing because we're trained to see them as intelligent, but their lives are a total mess.

On the other hand, have you ever met someone who may not have a formal education or be the best with words, but they live wisely and their actions uplift themselves and others?

In 1976, Italian economist Carlo Cipolla wrote a tongue-in-cheek essay called "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity" that provides a great framework for judging someone's real intelligence. Now, the term "stupid" isn't the most artful way of describing someone who lives unwisely, but in his essay Cipolla uses it in a lighthearted way.

Cipolla explains his theory of intelligence through five basic laws and a matrix that he believes applies to everyone.

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