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We Get Letters: An Open Letter in Support of Trans and Gender Diverse Children and Youth

Published on Thursday, April 4, 2024 | 5:06 pm
 

To our community,

There are currently 430 active bills in 41 states in this country that seek to block transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive (TGX) people from receiving basic healthcare, education, legal recognition, and the right to exist publicly. This number does not include the current efforts that target trans students in our own community. These bills especially target TGX youth and are deeply informed by the spreading of misinformation about TGX individuals.

Statistics show that transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive youth, along with those who are intersex, are more likely to experience bullying, harassment, and adverse mental health outcomes compared to their cisgender peers.

However, the impact of acceptance and support of TGX youth is significant. Studies show that transgender and nonbinary youth who reported gender identity acceptance from at least one adult had 33% lower odds of reporting a past-year suicide attempt. This number increases to 49% with acceptance from additional adults in their lives.

In the spirit of solidarity, we call upon our larger community to support and uplift our TGX and our lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBQIA) youth who also face similar struggles. It is imperative that we recognize and respect the rights of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive students. We affirm that they have the right to use facilities and participate in activities consistent with their authentic gender identity. We also affirm that they have a right to privacy and self-determination regarding how and when they share who they are, as recently affirmed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. We must ensure that their correct pronouns and chosen names are respected and that they can express themselves authentically without fear of judgment or discrimination.

We urge our larger community to join us in creating a culture of acceptance, inclusion, and love for all LGBTQIA+ youth and ask that you take part in one or more of the following actions:

1. Sign on to this letter of support. Please share it with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
2. Educate yourself and those around you about TGX needs and experiences.
3. Support local LGBTQ+ organizations that are doing life-saving work for TGX youth by joining their advocacy efforts or making a financial contribution.

Through these actions, we can take steps to make our community a better place for all LGBTQIA+ youth. Let us listen to their voices, honor their experiences, and advocate for their rights and well-being. Together, we can ensure that every LGBTQIA+ youth knows they are perfect exactly as they are and that our world is infinitely better because of them.

(This letter has been signed by over 115 local businesses, organizations, and individuals, including parents, educators, and public policymakers. To view the names and add yours to the list, please visit www.collaboratepasadena.org/tgx-community)

About Collaborate PASadena

Based on a Collective Impact model, Collaborate PASadena is a supportive framework made up of individuals, organizations, and businesses in the western San Gabriel Valley dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. Our vision is for every child of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre to grow up in a safe, stable, and supportive environment that prepares them for success in school and life, and its mission is to eliminate disparities in outcomes for children by partnering with the community and advocating to reduce structural racism and systemic inequities.

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