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Frame Testing Recommendations

Framing Guidance: How to Communicate about Transgender Youth

Six strategies for communicating effectively about transgender youth.
March 16, 2022

The evidence is clear that trans young people thrive when their gender identities are accepted and affirmed. Research shows that support and acceptance from parents, using young people’s chosen names, enacting inclusive policies and practices, and providing gender-affirming medical care all support the health and wellbeing of trans youth. Scientists, communicators, and advocates can and must harness this evidence to inform how we communicate.

In this framing guidance, we outline six strategies for communicating effectively about trans youth:

1. Connect the needs of transgender youth to the needs of all adolescents. 

2. Talk about overall wellbeing, not just medical care.

3. Always connect the dots between gender-affirming care and mental health outcomes.

4. Tell positive stories about transgender youth who do get the services they need.

5. Use a moral argument. 

6. Emphasize the future impacts of doing the right thing.