Talking to School Staff and Parents About Gender Identity
Compared to the earlier decades, gender fluidity and diversity recognized and experienced today are a lot more different. Today, gender doesn’t indicate just male or female. You’ll come across people who feel trapped in the wrong body and consider themselves more of a female than a male or vice versa. Then there are some others who identify themselves on the gender range as lying between female and male and proclaiming themselves as gender creative, gender non-conforming, gender expansive, gender independent, and gender diverse.
As diverse gender identities are becoming widespread within the gender spectrum, conversations related to encouraging awareness and everyone’s well-being should become a priority.
What Are the Implications?
To help in the overall development of children, parents and educators need to agree on creating inclusive spaces and making available resources and tools to support the students. When it comes to gender identity, more than 10% of the population says they feel more aligned to something different from what they were given at birth. Thus, it’s not a small section of the society that’s getting affected. As a result, adults should encourage communication with children to fill the information gap that has been created due to diverse gender identities and gender expressions.
Ways to Communicate
A primary step for integrating gender identity into daily conversations or teaching processes is respecting and using the student’s favored gender pronouns. Since they’re valuable to the students, they should be treated like their names. Such adjustments can be made easily, particularly in a small school with a close-knit student community where almost everyone knows the others. When the use of preferred pronouns is supported, educators and students previously unaware of their significance become conscious, which can initiate the use of other methods to communicate with those students effectively.
There’s a common misconception that students should learn about gender identity at home, not in school. Actually, both places are apt to teach students to respect differences in gender identity, as well as in family type, race, sexuality, religion, and class, while averting damaging stereotypes. When they learn to respect such differences, the students become more prone to succeed, are capable of cooperating on projects, and prevent bullying from other students.
You shouldn’t wait to discuss gender identity until the circumstances propel you to do it. You can do it in advance by simply covering the fundamentals if going deeper into the subject makes you uncomfortable. You can simply teach that some people feel different from others, and we should be open to accepting them.
Though gender may start with the sex assigned at birth, it doesn’t end there. A person’s gender is a complicated association between their identity, body, and expression. Although they can differ across an assortment of distinct possibilities, they are all equal on the gender spectrum.
As parents and educators, our responsibility is to create a safe place where children and young adults can study while expressing their true selves without the fear of being judged. Educating everyone is the best way to facilitate freedom of expression within our homes and schools.