Anon – Rooming Complications
Hey friends, I’m a mentor of an FRC team and I wanted to let that other mentor know that if they are a team based around a school (especially public), they may bump into some policy issues regarding transgender students. For example, on our team, the school district insists students room with other students of their GAAB (unfortunately) if we take students out of school and that is something we have to work on changing to make sure all of our FRC students are treated as they should be.
That is true and thank you for replying. Hopefully, legislation changes to make it mandatory for schools to respect their trans students, but that is not the case right now.
~Staff: Sean 5113
Anon – Supporting Trans Students
I am a mentor on an FRC team and one of my students just informed us that she is a transgender female. What can we as mentors do to support her and help her share this information with the team as a whole? Are there any resources available? Thank you!
Hello! FIRSTly, we’re so glad that you’re being accepting and showing support by asking questions! We have some resources for trans women and parents/support on our resources tab of our blog [x].
Remember that she is the same person as she was before coming out. Any interests she had before she will likely have now. So if she loved mechanical work before, she’s still as competent now. Just remember to use the right pronouns and name while treating her with respect. You can also ask her if there is anything she would like to feel more comfortable on the team.
Don’t beat yourself up over using her old name or pronouns; just apologize and move on. Everyone makes mistakes and the longer you dwell on it, the more uncomfortable she’ll feel.
One thing many people do is ask questions, but make sure to be respectful. Don’t ask about anything you wouldn’t ask a cisgender person (AKA don’t ask about her private parts). Some questions that are appropriate would be “What are your pronouns?”, “What name do you go by?”, and “Are you out?”. The last question is important because you do not want to share information about her gender with anyone unless she gives permission.
If she has come out to the team, support is as simple as reminding people to use the right name and pronouns. Try to use gender inclusive language such as “hello, team” instead of “hello, boys and girls.” If your team has separate uniforms for masculine and feminine people, ask her which one she would prefer. If you are staying at a hotel for a competition, allow her to room with girls if she is comfortable.
If anyone on the team is having problems accepting her, speak with them. Everyone deserves to feel safe on the team.
Lastly, treat her like you would treat any other girl on the team. If you usually compliment girl’s makeup skills or shoes, do that with her. If you see something online that you think she would like, tell her. Simply being there for her is the end goal. Tell her that if she has any problems, she can talk to you, even if it doesn’t involve the team. Make her feel validated and important.
If you have any other questions, just send us another ask and we’d be happy to answer.
My name is Lawrence from team 1529 and just here recently I’ve been put in charge of a diversity subgroup for our team. I’m a fully out transboy on the team and my job is to make sure everyone feels safe to be themselves. I just wanted to share that.
Hello, fellow dude! It’s so awesome that you have a diversity subgroup. If you ever want to share any of your work with the blog, just submit it (with consent from your team, of course) and we’d be happy to spread some cool diversity to other FIRSTers out there!
-Staff: Sean 5113
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is a student run organization that advocates awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ students, mentors, and volunteers of FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST reaches out to over 1000 members across the FIRST regions and fronts multiple outreach endeavors.