Our October Lunch Hour Letter Writing covered important action to support trans youth in schools. Learn more below and write a letter to your state senator about creating school environments where every student can thrive.

What is the problem?

LB575, called the “Sports and Spaces Act,” would restrict trans youth’s ability to thrive and participate in school activities. The Sports and Spaces Act is sitting in committee and could move onto to the next round of debate at any time. Here’s what the bill would do:

  1. Ban transgender youth from playing on their school sports team. Excluding youth from playing sports with their friends and teammates.
  2. Restrict transgender youth from facilities (bathrooms/locker rooms) based on “birth sex.” Blocking youth from the spaces they are most comfortable and safe in.
  3. Exclude trans kids from public life. This bill treats trans youth differently than their peers, ostracizing them and making it harder for them to participate in both academic and extracurricular spaces.

How can you help?

Senators need to hear from those in their districts how this bill would harm youth and why it’s so important to create learning environments where kids can be themselves.

By writing a simple message, or making a 30 second phone call, you can show your support for trans youth and help senators do what’s best for our communities.

Find who your senator is here. (We recommend writing a senator connected to you. ie.: the senator who represents where you live, where you work, or where you have family)

Phone Call Tips

Calling your senator is a quick and effective way to literally get your voice heard. When it comes to phone calls, even a simple “I don’t like this bill” is perfect.

How should you approach a phone call to your senator?

  1. Say your name and address. – Senators want to know you live in their district!
  2. Be polite. – Usually a senator’s staff member will answer the phone. Their job is to take down your information, listen, and relay your message.
  3. Be short. – You don’t need to give a massive speech, just say very simply that you oppose this bill.

Phone Call Script:

Hi, my name is _____. I live in the senator’s district at _________.
I’m calling to ask the senator to oppose LB575, the Sports and Spaces bill.
(Optional, personal connection, ex: This bill would hurt my family.)
Thank you for your time. Bye!

Find your senator here.

Letter Writing Tips

A short, simple email is better than nothing. If you find yourself stumped, follow the phone script above to craft a short email.

When you have more time and space to write something thoughtful, consider a longer email or letter. What are some good ways to approach these letters?

  1. Talk about yourself!
    1. “I am a gay man who graduated from this school.”
    2. “I came out as trans in high school, and here’s my experience.”
    3. “I have a queer child.”
    4. “I played sports with someone who is queer and here’s why that’s good actually.”
  2. Relate support to learning.
    1. “Supportive environments help students focus on learning.”
  3. Discuss the impact support can have.
    1. “Even though some classes were hard for me, my teachers showed me the respect I didn’t get at home…”
    2. “If I had felt supported at school, I would have avoided…”
    3. “When I was in school, my teacher had a safe space poster. That made me feel safe and welcome…”

Here are a few easy ways to talk about sports participation:

  1. Important lessons from sports: “Sports teach kids about self-improvement, leadership, discipline and teamwork. No student should be excluded from these lessons simply because of their gender.”
  2. Just like other kids: “Transgender kids want to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be part of a team, to belong, and to have fun. We shouldn’t ban them from playing sports with their friends just because they are transgender.”
  3. Don’t sideline kids: “This policy is less about sports and more about ensuring our trans youth aren’t treated equally and are relegated to the sidelines. We know that all transgender youth deserve to be affirmed at home, in the classroom, and on the field.”

Letter Outline:

Here’s a simple outline to help you write your email:

  • Paragraph 1:
    • Your name, where you live
    • Your connection to the issue
    • Your ask
  • Paragraph 2:
    • Why does this matter to you?
    • Give two reasons to oppose this policy
    • A personal story
  • Paragraph 3:
    • Last paragraph:
    • Your ask (restate)
    • Your contact info
    • “Thank you for your time.”

Find your senator here.