Support a trans/non-binary teen. (Day 18)

Did you know you can save a life – easily? You can do so through very small actions.

This year FORGE continued studying the linkages between the lifelong health and violence disparities transgender and non-binary adults suffer from, and what happens to us as children and youth. There is definitely a correlation.

The suite of resources we created (including T and LGBQ youth) had its foundations reviewing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study. The ACE study showed that traumatic events in childhood are absolutely and strongly linked to mid- and late-life physical as well as mental health problems. The resources FORGE created with the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims explore additional, population-specific ACEs that T/LGBQ youth may be exposed to, which might explain our higher mental and physical health disparities. Depending on your preference for taking in information, you can choose to read our white paper, Supporting LGBTQ Youth is Violence Prevention, or watch our webinar (with American Sign Language interpretation), Stopping It Where It Starts: Disrupting the LGBTQ Polyvictimization Pathway in Childhood.

Most importantly, what we learned is that there are many simple and sometimes one-time actions adults can take that can make a real difference to a trans or LGBTQ youth. These include:

  • Creating a safe, stable, nurturing relationship that the youth can depend on. (This may be particularly important where COVID-19 restrictions are limiting how many people youth have contact with.)
  • Showing support publicly by flying the trans flag, wearing a pro-trans button, or putting a bumper sticker on your car.
  • Advocating for trans youth in the institutions you interact with, such as churches or mosques or government agencies.
  • Being out yourself.

Victim service providers can do those things, and more. For example, they can be sure to mention trans/LGBQ youth in every public presentation, even if they’re not the main topic. Prevention programs can make sure their materials and discussions are inclusive; the white paper gives resources to help you with that.

Everyone who uses social media can make a huge difference, and FORGE has made it easy for you. We built an extensive social media kit that contains dozens of ready-made posts for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Each includes vibrant illustrations, hashtags, and image descriptions. The content is both educational (covering many of the topics in the white paper and webinar) and explicitly supportive of T/LGBQ youth. A little concentrated time with your social media scheduler and you can broadcast high-quality support for T/LGBQ youth all year long.

#30DaysOfAction; #TDOR; #TDOR2020

P.S. On December 1, you will have a wonderful opportunity to support trans and non-binary teens through #GivingTuesday.