Advocating for the Inclusion of Gender Expansive Youth in your State or Local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS)

November 3, 2022

Last week we held a webinar for Equality Federation members about how your organization can engage in Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) advocacy in your states and municipalities by adding an optional question on gender expansive youth. Adding this question to the survey will allow us to gather population-based health data on gender non-conforming, gender expansive, and nonbinary youth for the first time ever. The window for this advocacy is pretty short.

Nearly all sites will finalize their YRBS surveys by early Fall 2016 and the YRBS is on a 2 year cycle, so this is a time-sensitive matter. The YRBS coordinators in various states and localities are moving forward and NOW is the time for you to take action.

The YRBS is the primary federal survey administered by the CDC to collect health and risk behavior data about secondary school-age youth in states and large municipalities around the country. While the majority of state and local surveys include sexual orientation questions, very few sites collect data on transgender or gender expansive youth. So far, only 4 municipalities use this optional question to assess gender expression. There are currently no approved questions to assess gender identity.

Our friends at Advocates for Youth and the Parallax Group have been working on this substantial advocacy project and are available to guide you through the process. Please click here for a one-pager with questions and answers about Gender Expression & the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System: Identifying and Addressing Vulnerable Student Health Risks, which also provides contact information for Advocates for Youth and the Parallax Group. Additionally, please contact for a recording of the webinar we offered on this topic.

More You might like

President Biden Signs the Respect for Marriage Act

December 14, 2022 - Yesterday, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, ensuring that the federal government respects and protects all marriages equally.

November 3, 2022
Equality Federation Institute Honored to be Recipient of Major Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Today, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced that she has made a major gift to Equality Federation Institute as part of her pledge to give away a majority of her wealth through the Giving Pledge. Equality Federation received a $2 million gift to support the organization’s work as an advocacy accelerator for the state-based LGBTQ+ movement.

November 3, 2022
Report: Trans Defense Campaign

This year, in addition to our usual planning, coaching and other legislative support work, Equality Federation launched the Trans Defense Campaign to demonstrate the unified power of the state-based movement to defeat anti-transgender bills and win public support for transgender people. 

November 3, 2022
A young man looking up, smilingA young man smiling straight at the camera
Confident young woman standing with crossed arms.

Want To Make A Difference? Support Our Work

With your support, we'll be able to continue our work to build the leaders of today and tomorrow, strengthen state-based LGBTQ+ organizations, and make critical progress on the issues that matter most—like protecting transgender people, ending HIV criminalization and ensuring access to care, and banning conversion therapy across the country.