Letter to a Principal

Ed. note: A friend of mine sent this note to the Principal of their child’s school, where trans* teens’ needs are routinely misunderstood and/or ignored by staff, following the news of the thirteenth known suicide worldwide of a trans* teen or young adult this school year.


As I was reading my newsfeed this morning, I came across this story. I cried when I read about this young man’s suicide. I wanted to share this since there are transgender kids everywhere, including at [SCHOOL], who are struggling and need to know they their feelings are valid and will be respected.


At the bottom of the post is information on being inclusive of transgender people.

If a young person comes out as transgender it could be “just a phase”, but it may not be. We all know that it is not an adult’s place to tell a teen how they feel inside. What harm is there in addressing a young person by the name they prefer, with a pronoun they feel most comfortable with?

Thank you for reading.

As my friend put it, even if some students are, in fact, ‘just doing it for attention’, even if 90% are ‘just in a phase’, the 10% that are not are at substantial risk for self harm. You’d think adults could put this together.

Please feel free to adapt and send to your local school and district.  Bullying of trans and gender-nonconforming children is a problem everywhere, and schools everywhere are deficient in their handling of it.  Kids, even older teens, rarely have any voice in their own schools, so often it must be the parents who push for changes in policy necessary to protect them.

If you are transgender, gender non-binary, gender nonconforming, or gender-questioning, and you are experiencing a crisis or you have been contemplating suicide, PLEASE call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860 (in the US) or 1-877-330-6366 (in Canada). This is a FREE, non-profit helpline service dedicated to the well being of transgender people, staffed by transgender people.

Many individuals are unable or unwilling to use voice calling systems.  If you are aware of text-based systems for helpline services (including SMS, twitter, and/or email), please let me know and I will update.