Transitioning in High School
Transitioning in High School (or middle school) can be extremely difficult. Many trans* youth wish to switch schools in order to be seen as their true gender. However that is not something that a youth might not want to do, which is fine, and for other people switching school’s in not an option. So what steps should you take when wanting to transition at school?
Talk to your parents - If you’re going to transition at school your parents (or whoever you live with) are going to know about it. So you should be able to come out to your parents before coming out to your school publicly. If you’re parents are supportive talk to them about becoming advocates for you. It can help if you have your parents advocating for you in order to transition.
Find a supportive adult - If your parents are not supportive, or if they are supportive but they do not know how to be advocates, search for trans* advocates in your community to have someone come in and talk on your behalf.
Get information - Find information about youth transitioning in schools and have them for your administration staff.
Figure out what you want - Before talking to the staff figure out what you want when it comes to transitioning at school. Would you like your name changed on the class lists? Would you like to be able to use the washroom that corresponds to your gender identity? Would you like to have a gender neutral washroom option? Figure out your requests before talking to them.
Set up a meeting - Set up a meeting with your administration staff, your parents (hopefully) and a trans* advocate (hopefully) Bring any information you have on trans* issues and plan what you want to say/ask.
Stay safe - After starting your transition you may encounter ignorant people who target you. Always stay safe. It’s okay to realize that you actually feel uncomfortable using the washroom you wanted to, it’s okay to go back to your principle and tell them this. They should be able to give you a gender neutral washroom to use.
What if they refuse?
Some school’s will not allow you to use the male or female washrooms. If they wish to give you a gender neutral washroom ask them for how long - if it is something important to you then they should listen.
If they do not let you change your name on the class lists ask them why. Challenge them. Contact the school board. Bring in advocates for you. Do anything you can to make sure they understand why you are transitioning.
If they continue to not allow this to happen, and you have done everything possible, look into switching schools and honestly, complain to the school board.