Every student in Texas has a right to be called by their gender-affirming name and pronouns. In fact, teachers and staff have an obligation to use trans, non-binary, and gender diverse students’ preferred name and gender whenever possible, even when a student has not had an opportunity, or desire, to legally change their name or update their gender marker.
Across the country, courts have found that refusing to use someone’s name and pronouns can be considered gender-based harassment in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Respecting names and pronouns is both legally required and necessary to protect transgender and non-binary students from bullying and the harmful effects of gender dysphoria. In an affirming environment where transgender students’ names and pronouns are respected, students report 71% fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 34% decrease in reported thoughts of suicide, and a 65% decrease in suicide attempts.
- Lambda Legal: A Transgender Advocate’s Guide to Updating and Amending School Records
- National Center for Transgender Equality: ID Documents Center - Texas
- Trans Pride Initiative: Name and Gender Marker Corrections