Disclaimer:

Laws and social norms about trans people are changing.

Your school district might not have trans-friendly policies. Your school district might not respect your name and pronouns. Your school district might tell people at home about your name and pronouns without asking you first. Before using these templates, please consider your situation and prioritize your safety.


How to use these templates: Replace the highlighted information with the information relevant to your situation and identity.


Teacher Letter

Dear [Mx. Teacher],

My name is [preferred name] and I will be in your [subject] class [period/block] during the [Term/year] school year. I am transgender and have not legally changed my name. Your roster may list my legal name, [legal name]. This is not the name that reflects my identity. I would greatly appreciate it if you refer to me as [preferred name] and use [pronouns] when referring to me in class and around other students.

Thank you for understanding, and I look forward to the upcoming school year.

Sincerely,

[Preferred name]


Principal/Administrator Letter

Dear [Mx. Principal/Administrator],

My name is [preferred name] and I will be a student at [School] during the [Term/year] school year. I am transgender and have not legally changed my name. Your records may list my legal name, [legal name], but this is not the name that reflects my identity. I would greatly appreciate it if you would update any class rosters and other school documents. I understand that your ability to change my records may be limited if my parents/guardians do not consent to the change. I ask that you please check with me first before telling my parents/guardian about my request to use my preferred name and pronouns. Even if you cannot correct my school records, please refer to me as [preferred name] and use [pronouns] when referring to me around other students. Also, I ask that you help me encourage school staff and my peers to use [preferred name] and [pronouns] when referring to me.

To clarify, students who are transgender (also called “trans”) identify with a gender that is different from the one assigned to them at birth. These identities are normal and natural, and transgender students deserve respect. Learn more about other youth like me here: https://www.hrc.org/resources/transgender-children-and-youth-understanding-the-basics 

Supporting and respecting trans students--especially their chosen name and pronouns--is vital to cultivating a supportive, safe, and healthy school atmosphere for trans students. A recent study found that permitting transgender youth to adopt a new name that reflects their gender identity substantially reduces their risk of depression and suicidality.  Stephen Russell, et al., Chosen Name Use Is Linked to Reduced Depressive Symptoms, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicidal Behavior Among Transgender Youth, Journal of Adolescent Health (2018). This positive impact was the greatest when young people were able to use their chosen name consistently in all settings: home, school, work, and socially.  That study is consistent with  the 2015 National School Climate Survey published by the Gay Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) published the, which found that, compared to LGBTQ students with no supportive school staff, students with many (11 or more) supportive staff at their school:

These numbers impact our whole school. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimates that 150,000 youth in the United States between 13 and 17 identify as transgender - that’s 1 in 137 students. I know I’m not the only trans student you’ll ever meet, or even the only trans student you’ve ever met - whether you knew it or not. If you have questions about how to make this school a safe place for us, I’m including some resources at the bottom of this letter.

Today, what I’m asking for is one of the simplest and most effective ways to support transgender students in our school, which is that you respect and use my chosen name and pronouns.

Thank you for understanding, and I look forward to the upcoming school year.

Sincerely,

[Preferred name]

Resources: