Trans Youth Leadership Summit

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Trans Youth Leadership Summit (TYLS) is a collaborative fellowship-style program providing young transgender people the opportunity to work toward liberation through collective organizing for solidarity, advocacy, and empowerment. TYLS fosters the skills of dozens of emerging trans leaders and puts them at the forefront of critical issues transgender people face. We are bringing together revolutionary young trans leaders to heal from transphobic violence, build communities, learn how to enact restorative justice, and create direct action. TYLS looks toward root causes rather than simply covering up the effects of anti-transgender violence.

Few people recognize that some of the most influential uprisings in our community were incited by young gender nonconforming and trans people of color. Sylvia Rivera was only 17 and Marsha P. Johnson was only 23 at the time of Stonewall.
Now, there are currently no other national programs centering the leadership of young transgender people. Recognizing this, we will provide participants with funding for future conferences and events after the summit and connect with them through check-ins to further foster activism in their communities. TYLS is NOT just a summit, it is an ongoing relationship between trans community members.

The 2016 Trans Youth Leadership Summit took place at the University of California in Los Angeles in July. Over 20 young trans leaders attended the event. We will be releasing more information about the 2017 event shortly.

Photos by Amanda Yamate


Information from TYLS 2016:

Eligibility requirements:
1. You are trans, two spirit, Hijra, genderqueer, intersex, or nonbinary (please contact us if you feel your identity should be included on this list)
2. You are located in the United States
3. You are available to go to our Summit on July 22nd-25th
4. You are a youth (under the age of 26)

We hope to be as transparent as possible in our signup process. We are able to cover all expenses incurred during the summit for our participants (travel, food, etc), so please consider applying even if you are not able to pay for them yourself. You can learn more about selection and sign up using Google Forms here.
To make TYLS as accessible as possible, we also have an essay-optional video application. If you cannot apply but know someone who can, you can also nominate them!
If you’d like to print out a copy of a mailable/physical TYLS application, follow this link.

Important Dates:
March 28th-May 1st May 7th: Applications for TYLS open
May 7th-May 10th: Applications for TYLS close, selection process begins and finalists are chosen
May 10th-May 17th: Finalists are reached out to and interviewed over Skype and Google Hangout
May 22nd: Trans Student Educational Resources members collectively choose participants
May 22nd-May 29th: Transportation is booked for participants
May 30th: Social media groups for participants are created for collaboration and introductions
July 22nd: Participants fly into Los Angeles and are introduced
July 23rd: First full day of workshops, stories, and education
July 24th: Second full day of workshops and education
July 25th: Evaluations and additional workshops, participants depart
July 30th: Participants are given final evaluations
August 10th-ongoing: Participants collaborate with Trans Student Educational Resources on making TYLS sustainable and spreading what they learned at the summit at conferences and events

If you have questions that are not answered on this page or signup form, you can contact us at TSER [at]