On SAGE Insight: Supporting the Health and Well-Being of Transgender Students

From The Journal of School Nursing

Throughout the United States, there has been a rise in public discourse about transgender people and transgender issues. Much of this attention stems from passed and proposed anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) state and local legislation, including “bathroom bills” that would require transgender people to use public facilities (bathrooms and locker rooms) corresponding with the sex designated on their birth certificates, not their gender identity. Preliminary findings from the 2015 US Transgender Survey (2016) of over 27,000 transgender adults revealed that transgender people face extensive victimization when trying to use public bathrooms. School nurses play a key role in creating a space that is welcoming and affirming where transgender students can thrive. Given the high prevalence of transgender-related discrimination and victimization in school settings, it is critical for school nurses to intervene and address all safety and health concerns. This article aims to provide a foundation and context to empower school nurses to join the discussion, advocate for inclusive and equitable school policies, and deliver gender-affirming care to transgender students. Understanding varying gender identities and expressions, and the appropriate gender-affirming approaches will help cultivate a supportive, compassionate, and caring environment.

 

   

Abstract

Throughout the United States, there has been a rise in public discourse about transgender people and transgender issues. Much of this attention stems from passed and proposed anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) legislation, including “bathroom bills” that would require transgender people to use public facilities corresponding with the sex designated on their birth certificates. With the recent discussion and legislation impacting school-aged children and adolescents, what does this mean for school nurses and how can they care and advocate for their transgender students? In this article, we aim to empower school nurses to join the discussion, advocate for inclusive and equitable school policies, and deliver gender-affirming care to transgender students. We will explain transgender identities; transgender-related stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and health concerns; gender-affirming approaches in caring for transgender youth; and implications for school nurses. School nurses play a key role in creating a space that is welcoming and affirming where transgender students can thrive.

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Article details
Supporting the Health and Well-Being of Transgender Students

Ethan C. Cicero, BSN, RN, Linda M. Wesp, RN, MSN, NP-C
The Journal of School Nursing
2017, Vol. 33(2)
DOI: 10.1177/1059840516689705

     
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