Oregon transgender student’s advice to LGBTQ youth: ‘Find your people’

Aug. 2022: Billie Henderson, 20, is about to begin her junior year at Willamette University in Salem. She’s among thousands of LGBTQ students nationwide returning to classrooms at a time when lawmakers and activists are pushing to ban or limit their rights in K-12 schools and beyond.

Students and supporters are preparing themselves and pushing schools to do more to protect the LGTBQ community. And activists like Henderson want opportunities like what’s in Oregon to be available everywhere.

“I wouldn’t have survived if I didn’t get access to hormone replacement therapy and began my gender transition, and just having a support system around me,” she said. “For those students who are going through that in the states that have anti-trans laws being passed, I’d just say to find your people. They need to find the people who support them and who will be there for them.”

Read the full story here.

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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