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A Look Back at High School

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

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If your school is not respecting your rights - or if you have any questions - contact us now for free & confidential help.


Know Your Rights

This information applies to public schools and in some cases private schools that receive federal funding. If you have questions about your rights in private school, contact us.

Self Expression

  • You have a right to be referred to by your preferred name and pronouns.
  • You have a right to dress and express yourself in a manner consistent with your gender identity.
  • You have a right to free speech and expression. This includes the right to respectfully express opinions or ideas which may offend others - including discussion of LGBTQ topics – and to disagree with others. Remember that others also have the right to respectfully express their own ideas and opinions.
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Got LGBTQ Rights? Yes!

You have rights at school.

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Prom and Other Dances

  • Your school cannot stop you from taking a date of the same sex or gender to your prom or school dance, as long as your choice of date meets the rules applied to all students.
  • Your school cannot treat dates of the same sex or gender differently, including by requiring only same-sex dates to have parental permission.


  • You have a right to access information about LGBTQ subjects, including educational websites. Your school’s internet filters should not prevent this access. Click here to learn how to check your school’s internet access.


  • Prohibitions on discrimination apply to all school programs, including sports.

School Records

  • You have a right to have your school and medical records kept confidential.
  • You can ask your school(s) to amend their records - even after graduation - to reflect your current name and gender identity.

Guidance for Schools

Check It Out!


Works to ensure that LGBT individuals are safe and protected in school.


Promotes the wellbeing of LGBT individuals and their families.

GSA Network

A resource for finding a Gay-Straight Alliance near you.

More Great Resources →


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Get the Facts!

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Download our printable Know Your Rights fact sheets: