Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD)
Gender and Sexual Diversity is significant for us as educators to know because our attitude towards it largely impacts our students. Our students are our responsibility. Not only are we suppose to teach them, we also must love and care for them. In doing this, we must not assume student(s) are heterosexual just because it is common (not normal). We have to be open minded and accepting of every child and our students will follow our example.
Deepening the Discussion: Gender and Sexual Diversity (2015) is the best resources out there to educator yourself about GSD so that we can teach and influence our students in a positive way.
I like that the Gender Unicorn identifies that gender is not binary in that there are not only two options of feminine and masculine in the different parts that make up gender, there is a third option. This being said, there is another visual representation that portrays gender that shows the same gender make up.
In ECS 110 I presented on an article, "But I'm Not Gay" (2007) by Elizabeth Meyer. I created a class handout to give a summary of the article. Meyer provides a great look at how gender identity and stereotypes are formed and the required pedagogy that will change these things for the better.
Furthermore, while researching in order to prepare to teach Sexual Education, I came across a helpful resource that takes a trauma-informed perspective. Take a look here at "A Guide to Trauma-Informed Sex Education"
Welcoming Schools Organization. (n.d.). Be Prepared For Questions And Put-Downs On Gender. Retrieved November 07, 2017, from http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com//welcoming-schools/documents/WS_Be_Prepared_for_Questions_and_Put-Downs_on_Gender.pdf
This document provides questions and answers to help practice seeing gender through a non-binary lens. Included are many different question prompts with possible answers, to help a teacher in tough situations. Students, parents or colleagues may align with the remarks in this document, in which a teacher can examine and understand to alter perceptions and language of gender. This document would be useful as a teacher’s resource, to make sure to use inclusive language of people who identify as gender and sexual diverse. The teacher can then work with students to help them to come up with powerful answers to advocate for inclusion and gender put down among their peers and community. Brainstorming, and practicing using their answers as the document suggests, promotes inclusion and begins to overcome the stigma of ‘gender.’
This document aligns with the Saskatchewan Health Curriculum because students need to be able to analyze, assess, develop and demonstrate conversations that they have in their everyday conversations with guardians, peers and teachers. Students will understand the importance of making sure everyone is included and no one is singled out. Often, when people communicate with one another, others are left out or hurt by the words said. Therefore, as a teacher, it is our responsibility to ensure that no student feels this way, in the classroom, hallways or elsewhere in the school.
You can find more about this resource and a list of others in an assignment I co-created for EHE 317 about where gender and sexual diversity fits in with the curriculum. Click here.