You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

Skip to main

In Their Own Words: LGBTQ Young People Head Back to School

BY: Ryan Bernsten

We asked our Trevor community some of the big questions as they head back to school this year. Their answers brought us back to the fact that all kids just want to be kids and belong at school, and some of their advice was super heartwarming. See how LGBTQ young people across the country are feeling as they pack their backpacks this year.

What are you most looking forward to at school this year?

“Going to a school with an LGBTQ support group for the first time!”

“This year I’m finally ready to be out and proud! Going to finish my senior year with a bang.”

“I’m in Yearbook for a second year!! And acting!”

“Finding people who accept me for who I am!!”

“Being president of the GSA at my school!”

“Meeting new people and making friends (I’m a freshman).”

“Making new friends because I’m transferring to a new school!”

“Participating in theater productions!”

“Being able to talk to some friendly classmates who are trans like me.”

“Marching band!! Our color guard is almost entirely LGBTQ.”

“The atmosphere of a liberal arts university after being in a conservative school system.”

“Doing art with my friends!”

“Being able to come out to my teachers and have my pronouns and name used.”

Share a moment you felt affirmed at school.

“So this year, I have an openly queer teacher (she/they) I have never felt more relieved.”

“When one of my teachers asked me my pronouns without any prompting.”

“When my high school brought back my GSA.”

“This happened today! My theatre teacher gave us all mini pride flags and stickers.”

“When my tablemate in physics corrected herself on my pronouns.”

What advice would you give your younger self?

“Nothing bad in life defines who you are. You are amazing. You are loved. You are enough.”

“You are so worthy of love, and yes you are weird, but it’s a GREAT thing.”

“You can grow up to be exactly who you wanted to be.”

“Keep finding joy.”

“Don’t give up!! You will meet people who appreciate you and things will work out for the best.”

“It’s normal and okay to be different. Don’t hide it.”

What can teachers or other adults at school do to better support you?

“Ask for pronouns, practice them, and try their best to be the best teacher they can be.”

“Be there to support and talk to when things get tough.”

“Inclusive language and using my pronouns/correcting others for using the wrong pronouns.”

“Have some kind of LGBTQ symbol in the classroom to non verbally communicate support.”

“Ask for pronouns, use preferred names, and educate themselves a bit on LGBTQ topics.”

“Acknowledge LGBTQ+ topics!”

“Using gender-neutral pronouns for students because not everyone passes and trans kids exist!”

“Openly show LGBTQ support so that those in the closet can know who to trust!” 

“A lot of my teachers put their pronouns in emails which inspired me to do the same.”

How can your school become a more welcoming & affirming place?

“I wish my school had a gender-neutral bathroom and dressing room for students.”

“Include trans/non-binary kids in nominations (like prom court or superlatives) for high school.”

“Letting their queer students know they are supported.”

“Supportive teachers could hang rainbow flags in their rooms so students know they’re safe there.”

“Open conversations, prompted by teachers and administration.”

“Making it the norm for teachers to share their pronouns.”

“Embracing and promoting diversity and inclusive language!”

“Putting preferred names with a student’s profile in their system so teachers see it.”

Read more from

Animation of two people on mobile devices

BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month: Navigating Stigma

BIPOC communities have historically faced discrimination, systemic inequalities, and social injustices — all of which have profound impacts on mental health. This BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, it is essential to highlight the disparities that exist in access to mental health services among BIPOC communities. It’s important that we continue advocating for equitable resources and promoting the destigmatization of both asking for and receiving help. Stigma surrounding mental health is prevalent in many communities, often leading to shame, silence, and avoidance. Within BIPOC communities specifically, cultural factors and historical trauma can further complicate discussions around mental health. Breaking these stigmas…

Every Single One: Letters to Those Who Supported Us

Affirmation has an enormous impact — in fact, one accepting adult can decrease an LGBTQ young person’s risk of suicide by up to 40%. For this year’s Every Single One campaign, we’re helping LGBTQ young people tell stories of those who have changed their lives for the better. By telling these stories, we hope to encourage others to do the same. We asked five LGBTQ young people to write a letter to someone who has supported them on their journey and captured those letters in this video. Here’s what they said: Dear Mama,  Thank you for understanding me when no…