Supporting Gender-Expansive Young Adults
Gender-expansive young adults are individuals who are pushing the boundaries of gender expression. They are often referred to as being gender non-binary, genderfluid, agender, or part of the transgender community, or potentially another gender identity not listed here. They generally don’t identify as exclusively male or female, and are free to express their gender however they choose.
Tips for Supporting Gender-Expansive Young Adults
Here are a few tips for offering emotional and practical support to gender-expansive young adults:
- Listen carefully to their ideas and feelings: Many gender-expansive young adults may not feel confident enough to express their true gender identity. Listen carefully to their ideas and feelings and provide a safe, non-judgmental space for them to explore.
- Educate yourself: Take time to educate yourself about gender identity and terminology that is used within the LGBTQ+ community. This understanding can help you better support the gender-expansive young adults in your life.
- Be open and affirming: Respect the name and pronouns they choose to use, as well as their chosen gender expression. Make sure to emphasize that you accept and embrace them.
- Encourage them to speak up: Encourage them to use their voice when advocating for themselves and their rights. This could involve attending protest marches and activism initiatives, supporting LGBT+ organizations, or forming groups within the community.
- Respect their privacy: Respect their privacy when it comes to their gender identity. Be mindful of who they want to share their identity with and don’t out them to others.
Gender-expansive young adults face a number of unique challenges in today’s society. It is therefore vital that we, as adults, do all we can to make sure they feel safe, accepted and validated. By listening to them, educating ourselves and respecting their privacy, we can help create a more equitable, inclusive environment for our gender-expansive young adults.