Gender identity
from the blog banner

A Look Back at High School

Public affairs and education intern Alison Geoffrey reflects on her experience in high school.

Read More →

If you think your rights aren’t being respected - or if you have any questions - contact us now for free & confidential help.

Gender Identity

Know Your Rights

At School

You have a right to be safe at school.

  • If you experience harassment or bullying by other students, teachers or school staff, you can get help to get it to stop.

  • See the page on Bullying for more information.

Trina video-screen

Trina's Story

You have rights at school.

Launch video

You have a right to be free from discrimination. If you go to public school:

  • Laws in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont specifically protect you from discrimination or harassment based on your actual or perceived gender identity.
  • You have a right to dress and express yourself in a manner consistent with your gender identity.
  • You have a right to be referred to by your preferred name and pronouns.
  • You have a right to have your school and medical records kept confidential.
  • Federal law also protects you from discrimination based on your sex at any school that receives federal funding, no matter where you live. And in many cases, protection against sex discrimination can protect you against discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Contact us if you have questions about your rights in private school.

Outside School

  • Laws in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont specifically protect you from discrimination based on your actual or perceived gender identity in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations, like restaurants, public transportation or stores.
  • Massachusetts law currently prohibits discrimination based on your actual or perceived gender identity in employment, housing, credit and services.
    • Note: even where there is no explicit gender identity protection, you may be able to bring sex, sexual orientation or disability discrimination claims. Federal law sometimes provides additional protections.
    • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued an official ruling that discrimination against transgender employees is a form of sex discrimination.
  • Never assume you are NOT protected. Contact us if you have any questions or if you need help.

In Foster Care or Group Homes

  • You have the right to safe and appropriate placements, and to be free from discrimination or harassment based on your actual or perceived gender identity or expression.
  • You have the right to equal treatment and to access appropriate services while in the child welfare system.
  • Read more about your rights in Foster Care.

In the Juvenile Justice System

  • You have the right to safe and appropriate placements free from discrimination or harassment based on your actual or perceived gender identity or expression.
  • You have the right to equal treatment and to access appropriate services while in the juvenile justice system.
  • Read more about your rights in the Juvenile Justice System.

Homeless Shelter Access

If you are transgender and accessing shelter services, GLAD believes you have the right to:

  • Access shelter services free of discrimination and harassment.
  • Access restrooms, showers, dormitories, and other facilities consistent with your gender identity.
  • Use and be referred to by names and pronouns consistent with your gender identity.
  • Express yourself by wearing gender affirming clothing.
  • Keep your transgender status and medical history private.
  • Request accommodations for your safety and privacy.

Get more information on the Transgender Shelter Access Project, and contact GLAD Answers if you feel you are not being treated with respect and dignity.

Check It Out!

Generation Q

A confidential social and support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth and their straight allies.

Mass Transgender Political Coalition

An organization advocating for the civil rights of the transgender community.

Trans Student Equality Resource

A youth led organization improving the environment for transgender students.

More Great Resources →

GET MORE!

Click On the Map to Learn More About Students' Rights in Your State:
New Englad map Rhode Island Connecticut Massachusetts Vermont Maine New Hampshire
See All GLAD Youth Publications

Get the Facts!

Know Your Rights image
Download our printable Know Your Rights fact sheets: