There are many resources for students and families with questions about transgender youth issues, from legal protections to school climate surveys.

Maine law and regulations around trans youth include:

1. Maine state anti-bullying law: Passed in 2012 and signed by Gov. Paul LePage, this law forbids bullying and cyberbullying, including for gender identity and expression.

2. Maine Supreme Court ruling: The outcome of the Nicole Maines’ case, this January 2014 ruling by the Maine Supreme Court was the first time a court in the United States ruled that it is unlawful to force a transgender child to use the school bathroom designated for the sex he or she was born with rather than the one with which the child identifies.

3. Maine Human Rights Commission guidance: In the wake of the 2014 Maine Supreme Court ruling, the Maine Human Rights Commission issued guidance this January to reflect its interpretation of the ruling on the Maine Human Rights Act. It says schools should allow a student with a “sincerely held” gender identity to be recognized in all ways as that gender, including using bathrooms, playing sports, being addressed by a preferred name and pronoun, and being allowed to dress as preferred. It also states that the school should abide by the wishes of the student while at school, even if the student’s parent or legal guardian disagrees. LePage has stopped rule-making on this guidance, saying the Legislature should pass a law before regulations are imposed.

4. Maine Principals’ Association: In 2013, the Maine Principals’ Association adopted rules to allow high school students to play on teams that match their gender identity. Maine was the fourth state in the nation to adopt such a transathlete policy.

5. Maine Department of Education: Issued guidance to all school districts after passage of the 2012 anti-bullying law that included references to gender identity and expression.

National and state resources include Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which produces a National School Climate survey; Gender Spectrumand the Family Acceptance Project.

In Maine, websites for organizations dedicated to protecting the civil rights of students include the Trans Youth Equality Foundation, Equality Maine, Maine Transgender Network and PFLAG of Portland Maine.

Research shows that students struggling with gender identity have higher rates of self-harm. A suicide prevention hotline that specializes in gender and sexual identity issues is The Trevor Project.

School-specific resources on transgender issues include the youth-led Trans Student Educational Resources and Trans*Athlete for sports issues.

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