Here at Random Acts, we are celebrating Pride month. Pride is dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and includes examining historical abuses and celebrating how far we have come along the road to equality while acknowledging that our work is not yet done. The transgender youth community, in particular, is especially vulnerable. While we acknowledge that we cannot magically create equity, what we can do is suggest ways to engage in acts of kindness for trans youth and their communities.
The Trans Youth Community
Pride month would not exist without transgender activists, particularly trans youth, but the transgender community is often left out of the conversation about equality. According to the Human Rights Campaign, transgender is an “umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to us at birth.” Despite the growing number of trans youth across the world, the community faces numerous challenges stemming from discrimination. From a lack of legal protection to rising homelessness, and from rising discrimination and hate crimes to more and more barriers impeding housing, transition, and healthcare, this is a community that can benefit from kindness.
How to do an act:
Before getting into how to complete an act for the transgender youth community, let us discuss how to complete an act. The first thing you will need to do is complete an Act Proposal Form that gives details about the act you are planning to do, including a proposed budget. There are restrictions for act types (no fundraisers, convention tickets, travel expenses, or bill payments, among others) but aside from that, the only limit is your imagination. At the end of this article, there will be some inspiration for acts already completed for trans youth.
How to find and complete an act for trans youth:
Before doing an act for a marginalized community, especially one you are not a member of, it is important to understand the needs of that community. Finding good sources is a great place to start. If you are not sure how to find local organizations, you can work with larger organizations. Vogue Magazine published an article earlier this year with five transgender organizations to support. GATE, (Trans, Gender Diverse and Intersex Advocacy in Action), works with the United Nations to advocate for global transgender rights. WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, works to further healthcare access for transgender people across the globe. University of Central Florida has a handy guide for LGBTQ+ activism both in the United States and internationally. Wajood Society works to further empowerment for trans people in Pakistan. There are many other organizations as well.
The National Center for Transgender Equality has a helpful guide for being a good ally to trans people in your life, and that is a fantastic place to start. The guide has sections on how to make the community, schools, and homeless shelters safe for trans youth, as well as a section on how to be a good ally in general.
For an act impacting your local community, you may want to search out local transgender activism organizations. Many will have social media pages or websites including contact information. Check out local schools to see if they have transgender clothes closets, which are clothing closets meant to provide gender-affirming clothing for transgender students.
Here are some acts previously funded by Random Acts for trans youth. One Random Acts staffer worked with SAYiT, an organization in Sheffield, UK, that provides practical resources for trans youth. She was able to donate chest binders, undergarments used primarily by transmasculine and gender non-conforming people to give the appearance of having a flat chest, to SAYiT’s care package program. Another staffer completed a similar act in the United States by donating chest binders for the clothing closet at Lambert House in Seattle, Washington. During SPARK earlier this year, two staff acts focused on trans youth. The first staffer created care packages for trans youth that had transgender pride stickers, trans flag polymer buttons, and cards with kindness messages that were sent out in the United States and Canada. The second staffer marched in Melbourne’s LGBTQ+ Pride Parade with the Australian Psychological Association. She also handed out #I’llGoWithYou pins to help transgender and gender-diverse people feel safe and welcomed while seeking mental health support.
If you are considering completing your own act for trans youth and their communities, you can start by reaching out to your Random Acts Regional Representative. Let us help you spread some kindness!