Santos Co-Chairs Workshop to Help Gender-Diverse Youth
On April 25, Carlos Santos, associate professor of social welfare, co-chaired an event by the National Academies of Sciences regarding oppressive policies that have affected the livelihoods of gender-diverse youth. The workshop, part of the Forum for Children’s Well-Being, focused on steps needed to ensure that queer people of color are supported and valued in all environments. “We hope to spotlight gender-diverse scholars, practitioners and those doing work directly with these populations,” Santos said. “We also want to underscore the need for an intersectional lens in doing this work as gender-diverse youth live at the intersection of various forces that can impact their lives, be it racism, heterosexism, ableism, classism and nativism.” The workshop highlighted research surrounding the health and well-being of gender-diverse youth as well as evidence-based guidance on the most effective ways to support them. Organizers also shared the voices of gender-diverse individuals, their parents and community leaders who are working to create a more inclusive community. They spoke about the challenges that youth deal with and what they need most to improve their health and well-being. Federal and state policies on health care for gender-diverse youth were reviewed at the workshop, which also emphasized the importance of breaking binary classroom structures that place students into male and female categories. Moving past these binary conventions will create a more inclusive environment for gender-diverse youth and will promote trans liberation, participants said. — Aminah Khan
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