The majority of LGBT research in schools has focused almost exclusively on sexuality diversity, leaving the experiences of transgender and gender diverse youth a much neglected area of scholarly inquiry. Using qualitative in‐depth interviews, we explore the schooling experiences of transgender and non-binary youth in South Africa. Our findings highlight that transgender and non-binary youth face hostile schooling climates where discrimination, misgendering and exclusion punctuate their experience of schooling. What also emerges is that they are expected to forego their felt gender embodiment and expression and assimilate to the dominant cisnormative schooling culture. Our research, a first of its kind on trans and non-binary school attending youth in South Africa, has implications for educators, curriculum and pedagogy and points to the need for more work to understand how gender diverse youth can be supported in schools. It also points to the need for further studies that are inclusive of gender diverse youth.