A teacher asks, “Any advice on approaching a student you think is trans?”

Addi advises a teacher on how to create a safe space for trans kids in school.

Addison Smith
3 min readApr 27

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Below is the teleprompter script for another episode of “Ask Addi,” my advice show on YouTube. If you’re so inclined, you could go to my channel and click like and subscribe. It would help grow the channel and allow me to keep making new episodes. Thanks, Addi

Hello, humans! This is Ask Addi, where I, Addison Smith, answer your questions about . . . whatever you send in, really.

If you’re not aware, my primary work in LGBTQ activism is public speaking and teaching diversity and sensitivity classes.

Almost every time I give a presentation, during the Q&A someone will ask what advice I have for teachers, much like this question from Lee:

I tell my students on the first day of class that if they prefer to be called by a different name than what is on my list, or a different pronoun than what said name naturally elicits, then I will honor such requests. I have a student who I believe is transgender this year. “Sam” did not request a pronoun adjustment, so do I assume s/he is ok with whatever or should I ask him/her privately? I don’t want to offend, but I don’t want to embarrass by not calling Sam the proper pronoun. Any advice? — Lee

Lee, you are doing everything right. Letting your students know that you are queer/non-binary/trans-friendly, setting that example, and modeling that behavior is a big step.

Max Fischer via Pexels

You can do a lot of good not just for those students but for all the gay and even cis-het kids, no matter what certain southern politicians may say.

Seeing an adult who accepts queer kids helps those kids but also shows the other kids that it is OK to be nice to them. For some of the straight kids, that will be the first time they heard that.

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Addison Smith

I’m an LGBTQ+ DEI educator, activist, and writer living in the Midwest with my cat. Call me Addi. They/She. Booking and more info at https://addisonsagenda.com

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