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How To Support Transgender Youth: Key Insights From Last Year’s Pride Celebration

As Riverside gears up for our Pride Month celebration on June 12, let’s revisit last year’s vibrant event and explore the top three takeaways from Celebrate Pride! Supporting Trans Youth – How To Be An Ally.

These insights are for people of all gender identities who wish to support the transgender community but may not have the proper language, knowledge, or resources.

Transgender youth

1. Actively Foster Inclusivity and Acceptance

Supporting transgender youth brings about meaningful and impactful change. 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and rates are even higher for those who identify as transgender or non-binary.

While these numbers are heartbreaking, hope remains strong- having just one affirming adult in their life reduces their likelihood of attempting suicide by 40%. Be the positive role model transgender youth need by affirming their identity through the use of their preferred names and pronouns, educating yourself about transgender people and issues, and respecting their LGBTQ+ partners.

Kaeya, a proud transgender man and graduate from Riverside’s Life Skills program, shared the following powerful insights:

“Make people feel welcome. Help them feel seen and heard, help them feel like they belong… support is the number one thing I’d say I’d love from someone”

LGBTQ+ Statistics

2. Share Empowering Resources

Joshua Croke, cofounder and president of Love Your Labels, a Worcester-based non-profit organization that supports LGBTQ+ youth through art, fashion, and design, explained the need to share resources with transgender youth.

“As young trans people are growing up, especially those growing up in unsupportive environments, they face a brand-new journey of trying to connect and tap into resources. We have to constantly remember that this is a new experience for someone, and we need to create pathways to support youth and connect them to the resources they need.”

Helpful resources include:

3. Listen!

Transgender youth are all unique individuals with specific needs- the same as cisgender youth. Actively listen to your transgender friends and family members and support them if they change their gender identity, need help coming out, or just want to vent about their struggles.

Demonstrate that you see and hear the transgender community through advocacy, love, and unconditional respect. There’s nothing more important than being there for someone when they need you.

Don’t forget to register for Riverside’s 2024 Pride Celebration! Featuring special guest speaker Mason Dunn, Director of Education and Research with the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce, our event will uplift people of all gender identities and empower members of the LGBTQ+ community to live as their authentic selves.

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