Supporting Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Students with Pride (ASCD Webinar)

Super glad I was on ASCD’s webinar today on supporting transgender and gender non-conforming students in schools. It was great to see people sharing where they were joining in from in the group chat - from all over the world!

Two speakers led the webinar- Becca Mui from GLSEN and Vanessa Ford, a Board member of the National Center for Transgender Equality. They started by defining key terms to get everyone on the same page.

ASCD’s slide asking participants to reflect on these questions.

ASCD’s slide asking participants to reflect on these questions.

This video of non-binary high school students sharing their experience and how they define non-binary would be helpful for any educator. The presenters asked us to reflect on the questions on the Gender Reflection image. Considering what my gender expression would have been considered 100 years ago was a huge A-HA. I would have definitely been labeled as non-binary versus a cis-gender woman as I think I’d be labeled now. Fascinating reflection.

“Genderism or gender binarism, is the system of oppression that perpetuates the cultural belief that gender is a binary, or that there are, or should be, only two genders — man and woman — and that the aspects of one's gender are inherently linked to the sex in which they were assigned at birth. Male and female are favored genders which makes it difficult for people that are non-conforming.”

Educating educators on this topic is essential. It’s amazing that in 2019 people are still homophobic and gender-phobic. Regardless of what you believe, LGB youth feeling unsafe is a public health issue. Not a value issue, or a religious issue. But, a public health issue. All students should feel safe and be able to thrive at school. No matter who they are. In fact, they should feel embraced through policies, practices, language and programs that send consistently healthy messages to all genders.

ASCDs slide showing that LGB students are more at risk.

ASCDs slide showing that LGB students are more at risk.

If you are interested in the PPT from the webinar and resources, email me at jess@cairnguidance.com and I’d be willing to share. They should be on ASCDs website shortly as well!