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7 Challenges Transgender People Face in School and What You Can Do To Help

Today, there is more visibility for the transgender community than ever before. However, the challenges they face in our world are still incredibly real. In fact, a recent survey found that 70% of transgender youth are unable to finish high school due to lack of support from their family and others. This has led to an extremely troubling dilemma: How can we ensure that all young people feel safe and supported in their educational environment? Any school or student can take action to make sure that every member of its community feels valued, respected, and included. The key is taking small but meaningful steps towards building a safe and inclusive learning environment that supports all students. In this blog post, we’ll discuss seven common challenges transgender people face in school as well as ideas on what you can do if you’re a student or teacher to create a more inclusive environment for everyone.

Understanding the Transgender Community

Before we discuss the challenges transgender students face, it’s important to first understand who they are and what the term “transgender” means. Transgender people are those whose gender identity (the way they see themselves) or gender expression (the way they behave according to social expectations associated with their gender) doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. When it comes to transgender youth, this means that their gender is different from the sex listed on their school records. It’s also important to make a clear distinction between gender and sexuality. While some transgender people also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer, others do not. Additionally, some transgender youth may be questioning their gender identity. They may not know exactly what their identity is, or they may be exploring their options.

Assigned-Gender Confusion

When a baby is born, the hospital will assign them a sex based on the parts they are born with. Gender is biologically determined by the presence or absence of certain sex hormones in the fetal bloodstream during pregnancy. However, gender also depends on how a child is raised and what they are taught. This means that, while some people are born with genitals that are easily classified as either male or female, that doesn’t always mean they’ll grow up feeling or identifying as that gender. Some people may feel that their assigned gender doesn’t fit them at all and feel like they’re trapped in someone else’s body. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Assigned-gender confusion can arise at any time in a person’s life, even if they’ve lived as their assigned gender for most of their life. It can also be a result of trauma or abuse, as many survivors of sexual assault report feeling an inability to reconnect with their assigned gender following the event. Those who are experiencing assigned-gender confusion may feel like they’re in a constant battle between their mind and body.

Peer Abuse and Bullying

As with any other group of students, transgender youth are often the target of peer abuse and bullying. Unfortunately, this kind of aggressive behavior is often directed at those who are seen as different from the norm. Unfortunately, research suggests that transgender youth face high levels of peer abuse and bullying at school. Approximately 60% of transgender youth report being verbally harassed at school, and 20% report being physically assaulted. In fact, transgender students are twice as likely as non-transgender students to be threatened or injured at school. While some students may feel uncomfortable with their peers who are transitioning or living as their affirmed gender, this doesn’t give them license to bully them. Bullying has no place in schools, and everyone, including teachers and administrators, has a responsibility to take action and put a stop to it.

Limited Access to Gender-Affirming Healthcare

Many transgender people go through a process of gender affirmation in which they seek out medical assistance to help them transition to their true gender. This often includes taking hormones or having surgery to alter their physical appearance to match their gender identity. Unfortunately, many insurance providers do not cover these expenses, and others only allow cisgender people (people whose gender they were assigned at birth) to access them. This can make it extremely difficult for transgender people to access the medical care they need to transition safely. It can also make it extremely challenging for transgender youth to get access to important transition-related services such as puberty blockers. These are medications that are administered to help transgender youth avoid experiencing unwanted and irreversible physical changes until they’ve reached the legal age of consent. Many parents may be worried about their child’s safety if they transition, but it’s important to remember that puberty blockers are completely reversible. This means that if the child chooses, they can stop taking the medication and let their body progress naturally.

Lack of Identification Documents

Most people understand the importance of having a proper ID card. ID cards like driver’s licenses, birth certificates, and school ID cards are used to prove your identity and grant you access to important resources like healthcare, voting, and financial services. Unfortunately, these documents only allow you to self-identify in one way: your sex assigned at birth. While some people are able to get updated ID cards to reflect their gender identity, others are not. This can make it difficult for transgender people to access many of the services that we all need, like voting. It can also make it difficult to apply for jobs, open a bank account, or travel. Fortunately, there are many organizations that are working to change the system and make it easier for transgender people to update their IDs. The Transgender Law Center, for example, has created a guide to help transgender people navigate the process. It’s also important to note that you don’t need to change your name or update your IDs to be seen as your true self. You can simply request that your sex be changed to your gender identity.

Poor Representation in Educational Materials

In a world where we’re constantly teaching kids important skills, skills that they’ll use well into adulthood, it’s crucial that we’re doing so in a way that respects everyone in the classroom. Unfortunately, schools often fall short of this mark when it comes to teaching about the transgender community. A recent study found that people who identify as transgender are underrepresented in educational materials. This means that there’s a lack of representation for transgender people and issues that affect them in the curriculum. This can lead to a lack of understanding among students and teachers, which in turn can lead to a lack of acceptance and support. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do in your classroom to positively impact the learning environment for all students. First, you can make a point to name and celebrate the experiences of transgender youth within the classroom, especially during Transgender Awareness Month in November. Second, you can make sure to use inclusive language and avoid making assumptions about your students and their identities. Finally, you can make an effort to diversify your curriculum to include information about the transgender community.

Stereotyping and Coercion

It’s unfortunate, but many people still hold false beliefs about transgender people. Some believe that transgender youth are simply going through a phase and that they’ll inevitably outgrow it. Others may think that living as or identifying as a different gender is something that you can do for fun or as a way to stand out. Unfortunately, there are also some who believe that being transgender is a mental illness. These false beliefs can lead to coercion when people try to convince transgender people to live as their assigned gender. Unfortunately, coercion isn’t a single occurrence. Some parents may coerce their child into living as their assigned gender, even when they know that their child is transgender. Other people may coerce transgender youth into not transitioning and accepting their assigned gender, even when they want to transition. While it may seem like a harmless way to deal with someone acting outside of societal expectations, coercion can cause serious harm to transgender people.

Limiting Beliefs and Misconceptions

Unfortunately, many people hold limiting beliefs about transgender people. One of the most common ones is that transgender people are sexually promiscuous. Some believe that transgender people are hypersexual and unable to control their sexual impulses, which means that they’ll sleep with anyone. Others believe that transgender people are less monogamous and that they’ll cheat on their partners. These beliefs are harmful and false. Transgender people are no more likely to be sexually promiscuous than cisgender people. In fact, this misconception stems from the idea that all people who identify as transgender are

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