School PE classes and athletic teams have been shown to have a positive effect for most students in ways such as academic success, school-connectedness, and in overall health and well-being. However, GLSEN research shows that for many LGBTQ+ students, PE classes and locker rooms are not a safe or supportive space; more than half of LGBTQ+ students reported experiencing harassment and/or victimization in these same areas because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fortunately, research also shows that students in schools with LGBTQ+ inclusive PE curriculums and comprehensive athletic policies experience less victimization and harassment in PE classes & school sports than students in schools without these supportive policies.

The following programs and policies are suggested guidelines only for school districts and their athletic programs.

GLSEN: The Sports Project

  • The Sports Project is an LGBTQ+ education and advocacy program with an emphasis on providing PE/Wellness teachers with the resources and tools to help students feel more supported and involved in their PE classes and sports.

  • GLSEN's "Changing The Game" program offers many downloadable resources and information to assist PE teachers and administrators in making their classes feel more supportive and safe for their LGBTQ+ students.

  • A GLSEN research brief on the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in school's PE classes and extracurricular sports programs. Presenting 5 facts about LGBTQ+ students and PE/Sports, this brief offers recommendations for PE staff and coaches to help LGBTQ+ students and athletes feel connected and supported.

For Athletic & Recreational Sport Directors

  • "All 50": The Transgender Inclusive High School Sports and Activities Policy and Education Project has created a universal standard model in policy and education for transgender inclusion in K-12 sport and activity associations for all 50 states.

  • GLSEN's "Changing The Game" program offers resource downloads for AD's to help make their programs more safe and supportive for LGBTQ+ students.

  • A Transgender Law & Policy Institute publication providing general information and guidelines on creating athletic policies for transgender children, specifically pre-adolescent children .

  • In National Federation of State High School Associations, written by Pat Griffin, this article outlines 6 important steps in why/how school athletic policies can provide equal access for transgender student-athletes.

  • This MIAA policy addresses and clarifies eligibility determinations for transgender student-athletes.

  • A resource compilation of policies, documents, research, and guidelines to support trans athletes participation and inclusion in sports.

NCAA Sports

  • An excerpt from the NCAA Sport Science Institute's guide to understanding and supporting the mental wellness of LGBTQ+ student-athletes in colleges. The recommendations can easily be applied to middle and high school athletic programs.