Trans Youth Leadership Summit

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Trans Youth Leadership Summit (TYLS) is a collaborative fellowship 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.

2018 Information:

Eligibility requirements:
1. You are trans, two spirit, Hijra, genderqueer, 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 in Austin, TX on July 26th-29th
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, you can also submit a video application instead of essays. If you cannot apply but know someone who you’d like to have this opportunity, you can nominate them here!

Important Dates:
March 8th-April 7th April 13th 11:59 PM CST: Applications for TYLS open
April 10th-22nd: Applications for TYLS close, selection process begins, finalists are chosen and reached out to
April 23rd-May 1st: Trans Student Educational Resources members collectively choose participants
April 25th-May 5th: Transportation is booked for participants
May 15th: Social media groups for participants are created for collaboration and introductions
July 26th: Participants fly into Austin and are introduced
July 27th: First full day of workshops, stories, and education
July 28th: Second full day of workshops and education
July 29th: Evaluations and additional workshops, participants depart
August 6th: Participants are given final evaluations
August 6th-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]
If you’re not a trans youth but would like to support us, you can donate here. We also have several volunteering positions available for trans youth.

The 2016 Trans Youth Leadership Summit took place at the University of Southern California in July. The 2017 summit took place at the University of California, Los Angeles the following year. Over 20 young trans leaders attended each event. If you’re curious about what happened at the summits, you can look at our schedule from 2016 and photos.

Photos by Amanda Yamate