Put #TransYouthFIRST at FIRST Championship 2023

Trans Youth are not safe at Champs, and it’s time to do something.

I’m sure many of you are aware that, for the past year now, the state of Texas has been working to prosecute transgender youth through investigating parents with transgender teens for child abuse and blocking transgender kids from accessing gender-affirming healthcare.

This oppression of some of our most vulnerable youth is horrifying, and we’ve had to watch as FIRST continues to host the Championship in Houston for the past two years with little regard for the safety of trans-identifying program participants and zero transparency with the community regarding their future plans or event contracts.

As a result, for the past two years, much of our FIRST family have no longer felt safe or welcome attending the Championship event in Houston. We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in this incredible event without fear of discrimination or prejudice. Our community is built on the foundation of inclusion, diversity, and mutual respect, and it is our duty to uphold these values and ensure that everyone feels safe and welcome.

Our “#TransYouthFIRST” campaign seeks to amplify this message at this year’s Championship event and encourage FIRST through community pressure to consider moving the event to a more inclusive location and look out for the safety and well-being of our trans identifying FIRST family members.

We are currently fundraising to purchase and distribute badge ribbons with the message “#TransYouthFIRST” at the FIRST Championship. Our goal is to distribute these ribbons for attendees to proudly wear and encourage teams to use #TransYouthFIRST in their event-related social media posts in order to help make a powerful statement and spark meaningful conversations about inclusivity and equality in our community.

Any funds raised beyond our goal will be donated to Equality Texas, an organization focused on advocating and fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in the state of Texas.

By supporting our “#TransYouthFIRST” campaign, you are not only helping us to raise awareness about the challenges faced by transgender individuals in our community, but also contributing to a brighter and more inclusive future for all. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that every member of the FIRST community feels safe, valued, and empowered to pursue their passions.

Thank you for your support and commitment to making FIRST a welcoming space for everyone.

- @mikexcao, @SilverLightning, @Freya_Basteln, @mangohighchew, and the #TeamPNWPride Community

Donate to help us reach our goal here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/put-trans-youth-first-at-first-championship-2023


The badge ribbon design has been finalized, and will look like this:

#TeamPNWPride will follow up as we get closer to Champs next week with details on how and when you can get one to show off on your event badge during and after the event!

We greatly appreciate everyone’s support as we work to make FIRST an inclusive and welcoming experience for everyone.


How many ribbons will you have available if fully funded?

Edit: And when is the deadline for having them produced?

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I’ve already purchased 5000 of them in advance, since today was the deadline to have them produced in time for next week. No matter how much we raise, they will be available and we’ll be distributing them at champs!



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(Not bashing, just curious) Why is it not in the colors of the transgender flag?

It’s unfortunately difficult to make ribbons in custom colors (as we realized the hard way) and the “standard rainbow” color provided by a vendor we found was the closest we could get. If anyone has recommendations for vendors that can produce ribbons in custom colors, that would be amazing!


where will be able to grab these at Champs? will there be a table or something where I can grab one and show support?


I won’t be at world’s, but for next season is there a way to place an order with the the vendor you are working with for other districts? This would be awesome to have for distribution outside of worlds if people want to fund it for their area. Obviously changing the subtitle line to be for the event we’d be attending instead.


We’ll follow up next week (once the individuals I’m working with on shipping logistics and distribution are on the same page) regarding how people will be able to grab them!

Right now, I’ll say that we probably won’t have a set place where people will get them, but a number of people roaming around handing them out - just for safety reasons and to avoid any targeting of teams or individuals :slight_smile:


I will absolutely share the design + vendor if I can figure out how after Champs. I envision having a bunch of different kinds of ribbons with different inclusive messages (“#TransYouthFIRST”, “#InclusivityFIRST”, etc), with specific district names / area names printed on the bottom, if we can get enough teams and events on board with funding it.


as a trans girl who one day wants to go to worlds this is amazing to see


As a student ambassador at Champs this year, I would LOVE to have one of these!!! I think what y’all are doing is important as all hell. :slight_smile:



I would like two. One for me and one to give to my nephew.


Thank you! Donated.

I won’t be a Champs this year, but every child deserves to feel safe.



From what I have heard, FIRST can’t move Champs out until after 2025, but after that, I really hope they do.


Ed, I will be seeking you out at champs next week to make sure you get at least 20 ribbons!


We’ve already reached our fundraising goal for 5,000 of the ribbons! Thank you FIRST community for rallying around this incredible cause. With that being said, I talked to the company and bumped our order up to 7,500 ribbons since we’ll probably run out of the 5,000 we have right now pretty quickly!

The goal for the GoFundMe is currently sitting at $1800 now to cover the cost of 7,500 ribbons! We’ll also be releasing a flyer design soon for teams to be able to print themselves to distribute to other teams in order to encourage the use of the #TransYouthFIRST hashtag in all event-related posts and media!

I’ll keep everyone updated on distribution plans, but right now the plan is to have several hundred of the ribbons available at the FIRST Updates Now meetup hosted by @Tyler_Olds for people to pickup :slight_smile:


Thank you! I appreciate that!

Michael, thanks so much for posting this great resource. These badges can go a long way to help acceptance of trans youth at FIRST events, and I have to applaud that no matter what. However, I have to express concerns with your history, not only with me but the larger FIRST community as a whole.

Over the years, I’ve seen a wide variety of toxic, inappropriate behavior from you in various circles, including actions and words that can be categorized as racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic among others. I don’t particularly care to share the details to the greater world for both of our sakes but I do have to ask: do you have any comments on this? Given your homophobic and transphobic past, including outing many of the people who I hold near and dear to my heart, I am extremely wary to support any initiative like this with you behind it. I do not want to endorse this, implicitly or explicitly, without knowing that you’re not the same person who I knew many years ago.