LGBTQ2S+ kids in the U.S. are under attack. Here’s how to help

There are resources available, whether you’re a trans kid in Texas looking for support or someone who wants to help

Ever since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a directive ordering the state’s child welfare services to investigate affirming families of trans youth for “child abuse,” parents in the Lone Star State have found themselves confronted with difficult decisions. Although a Texas court halted all pending investigations in a Friday ruling, many families feel they have no choice but to leave the state, even if it means being separated from their communities. But relocating has proven financially and emotionally strenuous.

Thanks in part to social media, national organizations and grassroots activists across the country are rapidly taking steps to help trans and gender nonconforming Texans faced with institutional oppression. Many parents like Elena Moore, a mother in Austin, have taken to GoFundMe to help them afford a fresh start in another state where their children can be safe from legislative bullying.

“This situation is threatening the safety and lives of transgender kids and parents all across the state and we need help relocating,” wrote Moore on her crowdfunding page. But with so many petitions circling, many have gone under the radar. And according to a recent update from Moore, her family is still having trouble raising funds.

Texas isn’t the only state to target LGBTQ2S+ youth in 2022. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), more than 130 state bills have been introduced this year seeking to deny rights and resources to trans people. Many of these target trans kids, with at least 38 seeking to restrict access to gender-affirming health care and 67 limiting their participation in sports. Other legislation follows the model of Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans discussions on LGBTQ+ topics in schools.

Donating to and sharing the following links can help make all the difference for trans and gender nonconforming kids and their families who presently find themselves in vulnerable situations. These resources could help save lives—or at least make them a little easier during this dire time.

Advocacy groups

Equality Texas

Equality Texas is a statewide advocacy organization that aims to secure equal rights for queer and trans Texans through action, education and community organizing. In the past month, they have encouraged folks to take political action and donate to support families with trans kids affected by Gov. Abbott’s actions.

Donate to Equality Texas here.

Movement Advancement Project


The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is a self-described “independent, non-profit think tank” dedicated to advancing social justice in the United States. Together with Gender Spectrum and the Biden Foundation, the organization created a toolkit for parents with trans and gender nonconforming kids. These include resources for specific audiences, such as faith-based families and families of colour who may face unique challenges.

Legal support

Lambda Legal

As one of the largest legal non-profits working on behalf of LGBTQ2S+ folks, Lambda Legal’s website is a great source of information for anyone looking to learn their rights, seek legal assistance or get involved in the fight for equality. The site also boasts a thorough list of resources for trans youth by state, whether it’s the location of nearby advocacy groups or where to seek counselling. 

Donate to Lambda Legal here.

National Center for Transgender Equality

Founded in 2003 by trans activists, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) advocates to increase understanding and acceptance of trans people across the U.S. In a recent blog post, the organization expressed disapproval of Abbott’s attacks on gender-affirming care and shared guidance resources for prospective advocates and people in need.

Donate to NCTE here.

Emotional support

Trans Youth Equality Foundation 

Another non-profit organization that advocates for trans and gender nonconforming kids and teens, the Trans Youth Equality Foundation provides “education, advocacy, and support” for trans families, according to its website. Based in New England, its services include a youth retreat camp for trans children, as well as offering educational resources for youth, parents, educators and providers online.

Donate to the Trans Youth Equality Foundation here.

The Trevor Project

During what is surely a time of increased anxiety for LGBTQ2S+ youth across the U.S., checking in on one’s mental health is extraordinarily important. The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts for LGBTQ2S+ youth. Anyone struggling with depression, anxiety or thoughts of self-harm or suicide can call The Trevor Lifeline through a toll-free telephone number, accessing a confidential service with trained counsellors.

In light of Texas’ gender-affirming health care ban, the organization is encouraging allies to contact Texas officials and offers an ally guide for anyone who needs help supporting trans friends or family during this difficult time.

You can donate to The Trevor Project here or reach a counselor here.

Stand with Trans 

A Michigan-based organization dedicated to developing programs, educational events and support groups to serve trans youth, Stand with Trans is collecting funds that will go to forming programs to educate communities. Recently, the group released a statement in support of trans youth in Texas and offered support for anyone in need of counselling.

Donate to Stand With Trans here.

Medical Care 

Children’s Health

Earlier this month, the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston paused providing hormone therapy, citing potential criminal penalties in the wake of Gov. Abbott’s executive order. The decision came not long after the youth gender clinic GENECIS closed last year under similar political pressure.

With similar resources sadly dwindling in Texas, many have expressed the importance of knowing which institutions remain available to serve trans kids to ensure that they continue to get the medical support that they need. As the largest pediatric health care provider in North Texas, Children’s Health has been serving families of all kinds for over 100 years. On its website is a resource centre for trans youth and their families with links to crisis centres and health care providers.

Check out Children’s Health’s resource page for trans youth here.

Gender-Affirming Letter Access Project

Per its website, the Gender-Affirming Letter Access Project (GALAP) is a group of trans, non-binary and allied mental health clinicians in the U.S. seeking to provide clients in need of gender-affirming medical care with informed consent letters. As trans and gender nonconforming kids continue to see their rights to gender-affirming health services under attack, resources like this one are essential venues of support.

Learn more about GALAP’s services here.

Resources and networking

Out Youth

Based in Central Texas, the LGBTQ2S+ support network Out Youth aims to provide “a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth to come together, receive support, and make friends who understand who they are.” On its website is a comprehensive resource guide listing all sorts of materials to help queer and trans kids and their allies. These include wellness resources, resources for LGBTQ2S+ youth of colour and links to food, employment and educational opportunities.

In light of recent political actions in Texas, Out Youth also updated its Support For Families page, which lists informational and legal resources that can be of help to families of trans and gender non-conforming youth. The group also offers emotional support services like counselling, as well as providing professional development to train teachers on how to create supportive learning environments for LGBTQ+ students.

Donate to Out Youth here.

Southern Equality

This LGBTQ2S+ advocacy program recently launched a rapid response grant route to fund emergency assistance for Texas families impacted by discriminatory legislation. These include legal services, emergency planning and mental health support.

Donate to Southern Equality’s emergency assistance grants here.

Trans Family Network

The Trans Family Network (TFN) is a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to building a network of volunteers that can “combat anti-trans legislation” and provide “financial, emotional, or functional” support for trans families. Per its website, the group works to connect those in need across the U.S., encouraging “everyone, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, to take the initiative to make a difference in real and impactful ways.”

Anyone looking for assistance or to volunteer can visit their website here.

Transgender Education Network of Texas

Operating “through a racial justice lense with an intersectional approach,” the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) prides itself on being the largest trans-led, trans-focused organization in the Lone Star State. Education and networking are done through public and private forums, according to its website. In a recent initiative, the group called upon allies to write “love letters” expressing solidarity to trans Texans during this difficult time.

“While trans community members continue to face an overwhelming amount of anxiety and fear, we must remember that love is infinite, love is powerful,” reads a statement on TENT’s website.

Donate to TENT here and join Love Letters to Trans People here.

Zebra Youth

Zebra Coalition is a network that assists queer and trans youth facing homelessness, bullying, isolation and abuse through recovery programs. Their resource page offers LGBTQ2S+ educational materials and workshops, as well as a glossary of terms and flags.

Donate to Zebra Youth here and get help here

Other resources

These aren’t the only ways that trans Texans can get the resources they need and that their allies can better help support them. On Twitter, the #TransCrowdFund campaign includes a Carrd with links to everything from online petitions and fundraisers for different individuals’ medical transitions, to lifelines and educational resources all in one place.

In addition, activist @ErinInTheMorn has consolidated a Twitter thread of fundraisers for parents of trans kids who need relocation assistance out of Texas. The same user also put together a map of every HRT spot in the country for anyone looking for hormone replacement therapy but isn’t sure where to start.

Correction: March 22, 2022 11:28 amThe sentence on the number of anti-trans state bills was worded incorrectly in an earlier version of this story.

Ursula Muñoz-Schaefer

Ursula Muñoz S. (she/her) is a freelance writer and reporter based in Puerto Rico. She speaks English, Spanish and German and has previously written for news outlets in South Florida and West Texas. Her work has been recognized by Florida's Society of Professional Journalists.

Keep Reading

The free speech ‘debate’ is an impossible dumpster fire—and it’s getting worse

OPINION: So long as LGBTQ2S+ people keep undermining freedom of speech among ourselves, we will never be able to defend ourselves from homophobic and transphobic censorship
Three photos of Roz Kaveney at different ages

Roz Kaveney on a lifetime of fighting for trans rights

The writer, poet and anti-TERF activist reflects on half a century of fighting for trans rights

After 1 Million March, counter-protest organizers warn of what comes next

The organizers behind opposition to Wednesday’s anti-trans marches warn that Canada is headed down a “dangerous path”

Charter challenge of Canada’s sex work laws dismissed by Ontario court

Sex workers’ rights groups say trans, racialized workers are particularly impacted by current laws, police targeting