Beyond the Binary

GSA Network’s Beyond the Binary Campaign focuses on making your school safe for transgender and gender non-conforming youth. Get the tools to help your GSA raise awareness regarding gender identity and expression. Learn how to educate students and staff about gender non-conformity and transgender issues. Fight for policies at your school that provide strong protections for transgender and gender non-conforming youth. Challenge the gender binary system in schools!

Get educated about your rights

Harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender-related appearance or behavior is prohibited in several states, including California (learn more about CA law here). Federal law also provides protections for transgender youth under Title IX.

Learn how to file a complaint about harassment or discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Are transgender or gender non-conforming youth safe at your school?

If your answer is no, then launch GSA Network’s Beyond the Binary Campaign.

You can use our campaign tool, GSA Network Unite!, to launch a petition at your school about any of the following issues:

  1. Change your school policy regarding gender identity. Make sure gender identity and expression are listed in your school’s non-discrimination policy. Go a step further and work to get your school to adopt the model policy for protecting transgender and gender non-conforming students that covers everything from bathrooms and locker rooms to dress codes and school records.
  2. Challenge the administration during prom, dances, and graduation. Make sure your administration allows students of any gender to run for the “King” or “Queen” of your prom or other school dances. Other school ceremonies, such as the color of your graduation gowns, are often gender-segregated. Learn how to fight back.
  3. Organize the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Participate in this annual event in November to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Use the event to educate students, teachers, and administrators about transgender issues, so we can try to prevent anti-transgender hatred and violence from continuing.
  4. Conduct student trainings regarding gender issues. Educate your peers to understand more about gender issues, including learning important terminology and understanding the challenges faced by transgender and gender non-conforming youth at school.
  5. Provide teacher and staff trainings on gender awareness issues. Preventing discrimination from occurring in the first place is one of the most effective ways to protect transgender and gender non-conforming students. Teachers and administrators at your school are required by law to prevent discrimination, but may not have the necessary information to do that effectively. So, train them!
  6. Fight for gender-neutral bathrooms. Campaign to get your school to designate a gender-neutral bathroom on campus. For example, your school can make a single-stall restroom accessible to students of any gender.
  7. Use visual activism or poster campaigns. Art activism is a powerful way of bringing attention to your cause. Your GSA can use buttons, T-shirts, ribbons, or stickers with messages and slogans that will encourage others to respect transgender students or challenge the gender binary. Consider if your GSA might also be able to display posters in teachers’ classrooms. You can start by getting some buttons or free posters from GSA Network.