Two people holding signs: One with the transgender flag with "You are loved" and another with a sign reading "GSA SAVES LIVES"

Unfair Treatment Hurts Health and Well-being of Transgender Youth


Transgender[1] people and their loved ones are watching and listening as policymakers at the national, state and local levels – including in communities across Colorado – debate whether all Americans, including our transgender neighbors, should be treated fairly and equally.

Misinformation about what it means to be transgender compromises health, safety and well-being, and laws excluding transgender individuals from protections afforded to cisgender[2] people send a message about who we value. The collective impact of this hurtful rhetoric and oppressive policies is clear: transgender Americans – especially transgender young people and people of color – are harmed, pushing health even further out of reach.

We believe transgender people should be treated with dignity, love, and respect, and that it matters that transgender young people hear from public officials and community leaders that they are seen and valued.

Transgender Coloradans contribute immensely to the rich tapestry of our communities. They are our friends, neighbors, family, coworkers and students. They work hard, go to school, serve in the military, own homes, support local businesses and pay taxes. When it comes to being able to earn a living, having a place to live, getting an education, or being served by a business or government office, transgender individuals should be treated like anyone else – free of discrimination and without fear for their safety.

Protecting transgender people from discrimination in schools, workplaces, health care, housing and other settings impacting day-to-day life is critical to health and well-being. Transgender Coloradans continue to experience worse health outcomes and greater disparities, and transgender students are more likely to experience discrimination, mental and behavioral health issues, bullying and physical or sexual assault. Transgender Coloradans of color face even greater challenges.

In 2019, we pledged our commitment to Grantmakers United for Transgender Communities (GUTC), an initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues that aims to inspire a philanthropic culture that is inclusive and supportive of transgender people. By joining GUTC, we committed to activities such as policy advocacy, grantmaking, trainings and more in support of transgender Coloradans.

The Foundation is opening a funding opportunity (available for our June 15 deadline) focused on supporting youth of color and LGBTQ youth as they explore and grow their resiliency through identity, agency and belonging. Sign up here to receive an email when the application period opens.

Learn more about issues and services related to the health and well-being of LGBTQ Coloradans:


[1] Transgender - An umbrella term that refers to a person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

[2] Cisgender - A word used to describe a person whose gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth.


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