New Democracy Maps

Community Acceptance: Resources for Communities Working with Transgender & Gender Diverse Children

Many people don’t understand what it means to be transgender or gender diverse, so some communities struggle with how to best work with and support children and youth who are transgender or gender diverse. This document, jointly created by the Biden Foundation, Gender Spectrum, and the Movement Advancement Project, highlights critical resources that promote community understanding and acceptance of transgender and gender diverse youth. These resources are primarily for adults to explain why community rejection is so devastating, why community acceptance is so important, and to provide practical steps for advancing acceptance so all youth can succeed and thrive. Learn more at

Who are transgender youth, and what challenges do they face?

What can you do to support transgender youth in your community?

Resources for specific audiences:

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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