Supporting TGNCNB Youth During Pride Month and Beyond
The choice to come out as a member of the transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary (TGNCNB) community, especially as a young person, is a hefty one. In a historically transphobic nation, TGNCNB youth must weigh the alarming possibilities of familial rejection and even potential homelessness should they decide to come out to their loved ones. This year alone, over 140 pieces of harmful legislation against the TGNCNB community are either in process or already passed across the country. Now more than ever, it is the responsibility of LGBTQ and TGNCNB allies to educate themselves on the community in order to make coming out a safe act for younger members of the community. It is essential to remember that efforts to support TGNCNB youth on their journeys should be year-round, not just during Pride Month. True allyship persists over time and requires practice.
Friends and family members of TGNCNB youth alike should familiarize themselves with what it means to identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, and other identities that fall under the TGNCNB umbrella. The term “transgender” refers to individuals who identify as a different gender than their assigned sex at birth. Gender non-conforming individuals, on the other hand, express their identities in ways that do not abide by the gender binary, steering clear of traditional masculine and feminine norms. Nonbinary people sometimes disregard the gender binary entirely, falling somewhere outside or inside of that spectrum. The best way to understand how a TGNCNB individual identifies is to listen to how they define themselves and to have productive conversations about their identity - with their permission and when they initiate such discussions.
To best support TGNCNB youth, parents especially should pay careful attention to the pronouns their child uses. Many TGNCNB individuals use pronouns that are different than the ones commonly associated with their assigned sex at birth. To use someone’s stated pronouns is to validate their identity, lived experiences, and, most importantly, who they are at their core. This can be a lifesaving act, even if it appears miniscule. Parents must also recognize that their child may use a different name than the one they were assigned at birth. Friends and family should take extra caution to avoid deadnaming TGNCNB individuals that prefer to be called by another name. For individuals who have a harder time making the transition to new pronouns or names, there are many Certified LGBTBE® suppliers that offer training and resources to aid the process. Allies can also visit nglcc.org/transresources to learn more.
Friends and family of TGNCNB individuals can donate directly to organizations that support the TGNCNB community. Here are several suggestions:
- “The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.”
- “Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, we employ a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.”
- “The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. We do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.”
- “For the Gworls raises money for Black trans people's gender-affirming procedures and rent.”
- “Stand with Trans is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide the tools needed by transgender youth so they will be empowered, supported and validated as they transition to their authentic life.”
Visit nglcc.org/affiliatepride to learn more about how you can get involved in Pride events and celebrations around the country this June.
Sarah Jester (they/them) is the Digital Media Manager at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). They work to create dynamic digital content to connect NGLCC with its audience and NGLCC members with each other. They are currently obtaining their bachelors and masters degrees at George Washington University.