D2: Transforming All Spaces into Safe Spaces: Meeting the Urgent Need to Protect Our Transgender Youth

Our transgender youth are facing unconscionable movements to restrict their rights and present concomitant risks to their lives. They are already at greater risk of violence and other traumas, such as homelessness, human trafficking, food insecurity, educational exclusion and failure, and suicide.

Transgender youth of color are at exponential risk across these domains. According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ+ Mental Health, 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. In addition, in a 2022 poll by The Trevor Project, two-thirds of LGBTQ youth reported that the recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people impacted their mental health negatively. This impact is even more dramatic among transgender and/or non-binary youth, where more than four in five of them (85%) reported it impacted their mental health negatively.”

The anti-LGBTQ and anti-transgender legislation that’s proposed in Texas, Florida, and other states that follow suit are standard echoes of pan-historical actions to exclude a group from a right, service, opportunity, and space as a means of oppressing them. This formula remains clear and discernable—and when we pare down the exclusionary blueprint of these tactics, we arrive at the certainty that we cannot combat anti-LGBTQ+ exclusion initiatives without pro-inclusion action.

On the other side of these grave facts are the tremendous realities of resilience among our LGBTQ+ youth, when provided the affordable and attainable supports that we can provide them. In this workshop, participants will learn about the barriers to belonging and strategies to transform all spaces into trans-inclusive spaces.

Learning Objectives

  • Specific laws and recent legislative action that prohibits and threatens the rights of transgender youth in the U.S.
  • Key comprehensive awareness about the intersectional risks and needs of LGBTQ+ youth
  • Specific strategies to transform and sustain safe spaces for all LGBTQ+ youth, with special focus on creating trans-inclusive spaces across various settings

Presenters

Jenny Sloan, LMSW CTRT CTRP-C
Clinical Supervisor
Starr Commonwealth

Michael Rosewood, LLMSW CTRP-C
Behavioral Health Clinician
Starr Commonwealth