Resources

Resources on Gender-Expansive Children and Youth

What is “Gender-Expansive?”

In 2012, The Human Rights Campaign surveyed more than 10,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth across the United States. This report identified 925 youth who identified as “transgender” or wrote in their own gender. Using this sample of youth HRC and created the “Supporting & Caring for Our Gender-Expansive Youth” Report. The term “gender-expansive” came out of this report to classify youth who did not identify with traditional gender roles but were otherwise not confined to one gender narrative or experience. This term allows us to talk about youth who don’t meet our “traditional” understandings of gender without putting their identity in a box.

Organizations Focusing on Gender-Expansive Children and Youth

  • Gender Diversity
    Gender Diversity increases the awareness and understanding of the wide range of gender variations in children, adolescents, and adults by providing family support, building community, increasing societal awareness, and improving the well-being for people of all gender identities and expressions.
  • Gender Expansion Project
    This mid-western program promotes gender inclusive education and awareness surrounding transgender, transsexual, intersex and gender diverse people through evidence based care, education, research, advocacy, public and private policy and respect in transgender health and wellbeing.
  • Gender Spectrum
    Gender Spectrum provides community information and training on support for gender variant children and their families. Also of note is the Gender Spectrum Family Conference, an annual conference for people raising gender non-conforming, gender variant, and transgender children and adolescents.
  • TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA)
    TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected. They have well trained advocates and provide resource assistance for families experiencing discrimination or other difficulties in schools or other environments.
  • Trevor Project
    The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
  • Washington D.C. Children’s National Medical Center's Children's Gender and Sexuality Advocacy and Education Program
    This program offers a variety of resources to support families with gender nonconforming children, including a national support network and a Parents’ Guide.
  • Youth Pages
    Safe Schools Coalition is an international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that is working to help schools - at home and all over the world - become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • YouthResource by Advocates for Youth
    YouthResource is a Web site created by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) young people. YouthResource takes a holistic approach to sexual health and exploring issues of concern to GLBTQ youth, by providing information and offer support on sexual and reproductive health issues through education and advocacy.

Resources for Parents, Guardians, and Friends of Gender-Expansive Youth

  • Children’s National Medical Center Gender and Sexuality Psychosocial Programs
    Children’s National, a leading Children’s Hospital in the Capital Region, provides online and in-person resources and consultations for parents of gender non-conforming or transgender children.
  • Advocates for Youth
    Advocates for Youth champions efforts that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health.
  • Family Acceptance Project
    The Family Acceptance Project™ is a research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to prevent health and mental health risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and youth, including suicide, homelessness and HIV – in the context of their families.
  • Gender Born, Gender Made—Ehrensaft, Diane (Amazon)
    A groundbreaking guide to caring for children who live outside binary gender boxes. The author debunks outmoded approaches to gender nonconformity that may actually do children harm she offers a new framework for helping each child become his or her own unique, most gender-authentic person.
  • Gender Spectrum—Understanding Gender
    This guide helps contextualize and explain the meaning of gender, the gender spectrum, and gender diversity. These understandings are crucial in understanding and supporting gender expansive youth.
  • HRC—Supporting and Caring for our Gender Expansive Youth
    This groundbreaking report (available online or in PDF format) of 925 gender-expansive youth is designed to provide adults with a better understanding of these youth and to help adults find ways to communicate with and support all youth in their lives.
  • PFLAG—Welcoming Our Trans Families and Friends
    This guide serves as a resource for peers and family members to support their gender expansive loved ones. This report contains testimonies, advice, and best practices from professionals and gender expansive people’s loved ones who have gone through the coming out process. This report also compiles a list of other resources beneficial for gender expansive people’s loved ones.
  • Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (Annual)
    This conference focuses on the specific issues, needs, and experiences of trans and gender-variant people with regard to the health of our bodies, lives, and communities. Everyone concerned about these issues is welcome to attend, including but not limited to: members of the trans and gender variant communities, partners, allies, family members, healthcare and social service providers.
  • The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professional —Brill, Stephanie (Amazon)
    This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college.
  • TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation
    TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation works to support and serve transgender youth and provide resources to parents of transgender youth.
  • TransYouth Family Allies
    TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected.

Resources for Educators

  • Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All
    This program is a safe schools initiative sponsored by PFLAG, a group of parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, who celebrate diversity and envision a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • The Gay Straight Alliance Network
    Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources. Through peer support, leadership development, and training, GSA Network supports young people in starting, strengthening, and sustaining GSAs
  • Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
    GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for ALL students. They provide curriculum ideas and other links such as: No Name Calling Week 
  • National Education Association
    The NEA offers resources on LGBT diversity in schools including sample curricula and publications on LGBT issues in schools.
  • Operation Respect – Don’t Laugh at Me Program (DLAM)
    This organization focuses on creating schools free of bullying, ridicule and violence. Resources include curriculum guides and CDs.
  • Time to Thrive Conference
    HRC’S Annual Time to Thrive Conference promotes safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth...everywhere! By engaging a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches, and youth development staff (Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, scout leaders, etc.), we can create a thriving LGBTQ youth population.
  • Tolerance.org
    Run out of the Southern Poverty Law Center, this website offers suggestions for promoting respect and teaching about diversity in the classroom.
  • Safe Schools Coalition
    Safe Schools Coalition is an international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that is working to help schools - at home and all over the world - become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Welcoming Schools
    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Project offers professional development tools, lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and many additional resources for elementary schools on: Embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping and affirming gender; and ending bullying and name-calling. Welcoming Schools is inclusive of the many types of diversity found in our communities especially in regards to LGBT families and people.

Books About Gender-Expansive Youth to Learn More

  • Books For Kids
    The HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools project provides this list of books that teaches children about gender identity and exposes them to examples of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
  • Books For Adults
    The HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools project provides this list of books that teaches adults about gender identity, transgender and gender non-conforming youth and how to support them.