The Trevor Project has released its first-ever "Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth."
The new handbook is an educational resource that provides a 101 on topics like preferred pronouns, common mistakes, and the basics of gender.
It also outlines best practices regarding issues like disclosure ("Refrain from sharing anyone else’s story for them"), transitioning ("There is no 'right' way to express your gender identity or to live your truth"), age ("There is no 'right' age to understand your gender identity"), and sexuality ("Just because you know someone’s gender does not mean you automatically know their sexual orientation").
Other advice-filled areas covered are "passing" ("Implying that transgender people are lying, tricking, or deceiving other people is wrong and hurtful") and misgendering ("Purposefully misgendering is not OK, and you can be a good ally by standing up for others if you witness someone being harassed for their gender").
The handbook even includes a section dedicated to the art of the apology. In it, Trevor offers excellent advice for anyone who finds themselves accidentally in the wrong: "We recommend the three simple steps of listening, being accountable, and doing better next time."
Trans and nonbinary young people are at risk for issues like bullying and suicide. And while navigating this reality, they must also often educate those around them about their identities and how to be respectful. This handbook can alleviate some of that responsibility.
"It can be tough for trans and nonbinary people to bear the burden of educating others about their lived experiences," said a statement from Trevor. "This handbook will help allies begin their education on the basics of gender identity and expression to help increase public understanding and foster the creation of a safer, kinder, and more accepting world."
Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project, also remarked on the significance of the handbook's release on Transgender Day of Visibility.
"On Trans Day of Visibility (and every day), we must celebrate the trans community and recommit to the work that needs to be done to end discrimination once and for all," Brinton said. "In the face of constant attacks, our trans community remains as resilient as ever. But it can also be tough for trans people to bear the burden of educating others about their lived experiences. This handbook will help allies begin their education on the basics of gender to help increase public understanding and foster the creation of a safer, kinder, and more accepting world for all."
“Being trans or nonbinary is not a 'one size fits all' when it comes to expression or visibility. I wish someone would have told me that years ago because I now have the opportunity to walk my own runway, chart my own path, and see where it leads," they added. "At The Trevor Project, we will continue to advocate for trans-inclusive policies across the country and do all we can so that all trans and nonbinary youth can chart their own paths without fear and discrimination."
Remember: Learning more is the first step to becoming a better ally. Read the full handbook at TrevorProject.org.
Trans and nonbinary young people in need of support can contact the Trevor Project 24/7 through the TrevorLifeline at (866) 488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.