On 2/22/2017, the Trump Administration withdrew federal protections for transgender students issued by President Obama in May 2016. Even though Trump vowed to protect LGBTQ citizens, he is leaving this decision up to the states. But the rights of a young transgender student should not be a question. Every student deserves to feel accepted and welcomed, especially during a time where they are learning to accept themselves.
I may not be gay, bisexual, or transgender, but I have so many people in my life that are. I want your voices to be heard and I want you to listen. We love you, believe in you, and support you 100%. While this may be a really tough time for those of you in the LGBTQ community, I hope you can find words of love and encouragement to appreciate everything you are in these messages from some of my followers.
Thank you to everyone who participated. You guys give me hope!
Harry, 20. Columbus, OH
Hi my name is Harry and I am a 20 y.o. trans male from Columbus, Ohio. I am currently 6 weeks on testosterone and looking forward to the future more and more each day! Unfortunately many other people are making steps against me and my trans siblings everyday. Trump has just currently taken a huge step back on the safety of trans kids using the bathroom of their preferred gender and it’s horrifying. However I am here to say that we are stronger, we are impossible to silence, and we are here together. Spread awareness, spread love, and continue to BE YOURSELF. This is the MOST important thing. DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE. You are the only you and you are special!! Together we can take small steps into a much bigger picture! I am here to spread awareness, we are here to receive our civil rights, rights we deserve. We can do this together.
Jasmine, 17. The Netherlands
I can’t know how it must feel for everyone in America living with Trump in power but being all the way in The Netherlands I sure am starting to feel the ripple effects of his actions coming here. Quite frankly it’s terrifying.
When I heard about this new order Trump decided in relation to transgenders using different restrooms I was more horrified, why? Why would you do that? What real change to the world will doing that bring? Nothing. You’re just creating more issues then anything. There are SO many bigger issues at large here that HE is supposed to fix, yet he thinks that transgenders using the restroom they feel is right for them is a major problem… it’s stupidity that I’ll never be able to wrap my head around.
Being someone who’s recently started to gradually be comfortable enough to come out to my family, it’s things like this that make me worried for my future & loose that confidence I was starting to get, and stop me from being who I really am.
But one thing I know for sure is that together as one we’re unstoppable. Coming together as one is so touching to see, the more we do so the more chance we can fight and end this once and for all!
Emily, 20. North Jersey
I won’t lie – being an LGBTQ+ individual in Trump’s America is truly disheartening. It’s upsetting to see the progress this nation has made in regards to my community be stripped away by the people in power. I am privileged in the fact that I don’t have the word “gay” written all over me. People don’t question me when I walk into the bathroom or ridicule me for the bathroom I choose to use, but my heart goes out to my trans friends who have to endure this. What Trump is doing to the trans community is absolutely sickening – but you know that the LGBTQ+ community would never let him tear us apart. Standing up for what’s right, whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, is so important right now – so that’s what I plan on doing until I see steps taken in the right direction for good.
Evan, 17. Riverside, CA
When I first read the news about my president’s decision regarding the transgender community I was deeply disturbed and heartbroken. This man is supposed to be our outlet, our voice, a representation of our ideals and our hopes, yet his decisions have only reflected his own intensely homophobic beliefs. I am ashamed of my country. I stopped having hope that Trump’s administration could do anything but harm the LGBTQ+ community and just the American people as a whole. If there is one thing that I did gain from all of this intolerance and injustice, it would be how strong the LGBTQ+ community stands together. We will not stay silent as we are berated and discriminated against. Trump and his administration will continue again and again throughout the next four years to try and break down our community but every time we will rise up and show them just how strong we are. So do not be ashamed of who you are, do not hide yourself, do not blatantly accept the limitations but rather fight against them for yourself and for all of those who will come after you. He will not divide us.
Emma, 18. Philadelphia, PA
I am gay.
But I also am white. I am blonde. I am tall and skinny. I am the definition of “conventional beauty”. I am from an upper-middle class family. I am “straight-passing”. I am cisgender. I am financially able to go to college. I am able-bodied. Most importantly, I am privileged.
This is something that I do not ever go a day without thinking about.
The level of privilege that I have allows for me to not directly be affected by Trump’s presidency. I do not fear that he will take away my right to use a public restroom, I do not fear that he will take health care away from my family and I, I do not fear that he will keep my relatives stranded in Syria, but do not get me wrong, I DO fear all that he is doing that directly affects the people around me.
I am learning how to use my privilege for good, that is what I know I need to be doing. As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I see that I am in the position where I can convince people that we are real, we are here, and we are not going anywhere. As sad as it is, the right-wing is not going to listen to a trans-woman of color the same way they will listen to me. And that is horrible, but I know that I can help break down that barrier. I wish I did not have to fight for this, I wish nobody ever had to fight for this. Because what we are fighting for is simply put: people’s right to exist. Why the hell is that something that must be fought?
Despite being extremely active in my community I always fear. Am I doing enough to support my community? Should I be going to more protests? Should I be donating more time and money to causes fighting for the LGBTQ community? I am sure I can do more, we all can always do more, but that is never anything that should make you stop. Fight as much fight that you can today, and hope that tomorrow we do not need to fight any longer.
Dylan, 20. CA
Trump’s “America” has saddened me from the very beginning. With the degrading and disgusting words he said about not only the lgbtq+ community but people of color and women, there has been nothing but hate travelling around this country. I am fortunate enough to live in California, which is a very liberal state, where this hate is not as demanding as it is in other places, but I still feel high remorse and sadness for those who are highly impacted including myself. Being a woman in the lgbtq+ community, I hate to see all these wonderful people being torn apart by an uneducated bigot. When I heard about the withdrawl of federal protections, I was deeply saddened because I knew it took so much to even get these protections in the first place. Everyone and anyone should be able to have their rights freely, and for them to even be questioned in the first place makes me hate the people who run our country. My hopes have just been put down continuously as this election took place and for the weeks after. I am currently in college majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies just so I can do whatever I can in order to help people who are being treated unequally just as they have been in the past and continue to be. I hope others can help with my fight for equality and love everywhere and for everyone to remember that they aren’t alone and there will always be people to support them.
Brandon, 19. Newton, MA
Trump is a bully, and i believe that the withdrawal of federal protection of trans students is just the beginning of many mistakes to come. if you are trans, i just want to let you know that you are loved and that you should never apologize for who you are. don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. love is the answer! it is time for everyone to come together, and love harder than you’ve ever loved before! <3
Alex. Los Angeles, CA
To my LGBTQ+ family,
You are so strong and brave and creative and important and LOVED. We are all part of the same community and we MUST stick together in times like these where the government is actively working against our best interest and basic human rights. We must be loud enough for people to hear us over their own ignorance and we must do so with pride. Never EVER shy away from being who you are because someone works hard to make you feel small. You are a goddamn beacon of light in these dark times and the world could definitely use more color. You are not a mistake. You are always welcome here. Don’t be afraid to use your voice, it won’t go unnoticed. Our LGBTQ+ friends and family before us didn’t fight for us to just give up now, it’s our responsibility to keep the momentum going and moving forward. We can and we will. We are stronger together. And most importantly, we are here for you.
Anna, 14. Toronto
As someone who does not live in Trumps America and is not affected necessarily by his discriminatory ways, I still do have a voice and a lot to say about this issue. I live in Toronto, Canada and many people would assume that this doesn’t have anything to do with me, but it does. As someone who identify’s as gay/lesbian and knows how it feels to experience bullying and discrimination first hand I can empathize with this situation. I feel so full of sadness for the other individuals who identify in the LGBTQ+ community living in Trumps America. It saddens me to know that your rights have/could be taken from you. It saddens me to know that you feel unsafe in your own country, your own school or your own home. It saddens me to know that you may feel like you do not have a place. And as someone who is witnessing this all from the outside I wanted to tell you to stay strong and to keep pushing. Always stand up for what is right and never stop trying. You are human and you are worth something. Addressing the withdrawal of the federal protection of trans students.. all I can say is it makes my heart hurt. To the transgender people that may be reading this, or anyone in the LGBTQ+ community please remember that you are amazing, do not let anyone tell you who you should be. Although, what is most important is if you maybe do not fall in the LGBTQ+ community, and like I am in someway a bystander to this all. Always remember that the person that witnessed the bullying, is just as bad as the bully. Stand up for your friends, family or co workers that are being discriminated against. Protest to show what is right, because in this America Trump is the bully. Please always make sure you are not just doing nothing. Remember that again, even if it may not affect you in the same way, like it may not affect me… it is still a problem and you should ALWAYS voice how you feel. Because you have the power to make sure that no other person feels inhuman. To my LGBTQ+ family, remember that it will always get better and that I am fighting for you even though I may be very far away from you. I will continue to fight to help make sure you have the rights you deserve. Love ALWAYS trumps hate.
Emily, 14. Boston, MA
Today, my heart aches for transgender kids in America who are now fearing what might be seen as a basic action to many people, using a school bathroom. It saddens me that the president of our nation evidently does not consider the feelings of transgender people; it seems as though diversity of all sorts is only being oppressed under the ruling of this one man. One thing that sets a positive tone for a brighter future is the strength and cooperation of the immense LGBTQ+ community. It is very important as a whole to make our voices heard, since the current youth holds a very powerful role as the future of America. I hope that moving forward, the love and support we have for one another within this amazing community and in this nation will be enough to make great differences. The country has spoken, so hopefully Trump can recognize his wrongings to the transgender children of America to prevent any further damage. We are so incredibly powerful as a youth, and together we will stand to reclaim rights for our allies.
Rojina, 16. Palo Alto, CA
As a member of the LGBT community, I was always fearful uneasy about a Trump-Pence administration, considering Vice President Pence’s prominent anti-LGBT stance, and yesterday I was proven that my fears were not unjustified. The repeal of title IX is just one among many other uninformed decisions that the President has made. The administration does not realize that the real threat is not transgender people using the restroom of their choosing, the threat is stigmatizing and alienating transgender teens and making them feel unwelcome. Being a transgender teenager is difficult enough, and with the repeal of the protection set up by President Obama, transgender teens are subject to harassment no matter which bathroom they chose to utilize. As a community, the best thing we can do to resist this hateful act is to contact our congressional representatives and voice your concern and opposition to the President’s policies. Your representatives are in Congress to represent you and the people of your community, do not let them sit idly by while this administration reverses all the progress that we have made over the past eight years. Another thing that you can do is donate to nonprofit organizations such as the ACLU, the Trevor Project, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality. These organizations strive to help homeless LGBT youth and provide legal consultation to those facing discrimination at school. However, the most important action you can take is to reach out to members of the transgender community and let them know that they are not alone and that we will stand up and fight back for our rights.
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
The Trevor Project Hotline: 866-488-7386
In a time of discrimination, let’s spread even more love.
Your identity is valid.