Survival Tips for Trans Youth
Transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) youth face serious legal obstacles, and many endure discrimination and violence on a daily basis, whether in school, health care or the criminal justice system.
The challenges of changing one’s name, finding access to hormones or enduring police brutality, for instance, demand a distinctly adult set of skills and can take their toll on a young person.
If you don’t have a safe place to call home, it’s difficult to get a handle on the other struggles in your life. And TGNC youth have a high rate of homelessness because many can’t rely on parental support—whether financial or emotional or both. Not to mention that mistreatment at school is so common that many drop out.
The fact is, however, that nobody has the legal right to harass you simply because of who you are or are perceived to be. Laws and policies exist at multiple levels to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression. These are generally new or still developing in most states and cities, and they vary widely. Lambda Legal (866-542-8336 or www.lambdalegal.org/help) tracks these laws and cases and helps advocate on behalf of TGNC people of all ages.
Reaching out to other young TGNC people can also be a big help.