Coming Soon…..

The second project I’m beginning for this blog is a guest blog post each month from someone who works in schools to create a more inclusive classroom for LGBTQIA youth.

Here are a few previews for what’s to come next:

March: Gain an insight of how one science teacher integrates conversations about LGBTQIA youth in the classroom.

April: Tips on creating inclusive school environments and public accommodations

May: One Social Worker discusses how they engage students in essential conversations on LGBTQIA topics.

 

Wellesley should admit trans students. Now. Here’s why.

monica byrne

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Photo: empty chairs in Houghton Chapel, Wellesley. Reunion 2013. 

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Early one spring morning in my sophomore year at Wellesley, before dawn, I was on the roof of Cazenove dormitory with my friend Ashley. We were continuing a conversation that had begun in the dining hall the previous night. We hadn’t slept.

We were arguing about gender. On this point, she was far more critical of Wellesley than I. She paced the roof, expressing her frustration the limits of our college’s touted “tolerance.”

I didn’t understand. I said, “So…you’re saying any man who gets sex reassignment surgery should also be admitted to Wellesley?”

“No,” she said firmly. “I’m saying anyone who thinks of themselves as a woman should be admitted to Wellesley.”

And with that one sentence, sex and gender unhooked in my mind as neatly as a necklace clasp.

Which is why it’s frustrating to me that, fifteen years later, my…

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The Etiquette Of Pronouns When You’re Unsure

People often want to be respectful, but are unsure of what to do if they are unsure of someone’s preferred pronouns. In my post on creating an inclusive classroom I talked about the importance of this. Take a look at this clip from the show So Popular with Janet Mock discussing pronouns in terms of Bruce Jenner’s transition. Continue reading

Must Watch Series or Documentaries On LGBTQ Lives

In the past few years different youth theatre groups, filmmakers, and documentaries have emerged to the masses to better educate and show the lives of LGBTQ youth. Below are 4 must watch documentaries. Some are in  the process of being produced. Others are free and available online. Another aspect of all of these shows/films are that the individuals in them are all LGBTQ. Educators take a few moments to watch these and explore how they might be useful in your schools or as a resource for students.

The Year We Though About Love

Synopsis

What happens when a diverse group of LGBTQ youth dares to be “out” on stage to reveal their lives and their loves?

“The Year We Thought About Love” goes behind the scenes of one of the oldest queer youth theaters in America, with our camera crew slipping into classrooms, kitchens, subways, and rehearsal rooms with this fearless and endearing troupe. Boston-based True Colors: OUT Youth Theater transforms daily struggles into performance for social change. With, candor, and attitude, our cast of characters captivates audiences surprised to hear such stories in school settings. Our film introduces a transgender teenager kicked out of her house, a devout Christian challenging his church’s homophobia, and a girl who prefers to wear boys’ clothing even as she models dresses on the runway. When bombs explode outside their building, the troupe becomes even more determined to share their stories of love to help heal their city.”

Source: The Year We Thought About Love 

Passing

Passing

“Passing” profiles the lives of three men of colour who have undergone gender transition from female to male. The film explores what life is like living as a black man when no one knows you are transgender and how each of them now, perceives their own journey with gender after many years of being interacted with by the world as a biological man.”

Source: “Passing” INDIEGOGO Campaign

 

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word

“Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word” takes viewers inside the challenging and inspiring lives of seven transgender youths from across the country. Learn their incredible stories, and how their determination to live an authentic life is helping them become the person they are truly meant to be. Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox serves as executive producer and host of this moving and thought-provoking documentary.”

 

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 BROTHERS
“The series follows their daily lives, the ups and down, in and outs, of what it means to live as a transgender individual in today’s urban society. The series’ main character Jack has recently started sleeping with a cisgender man after exclusively dating women for his entire adult life. His friend Davyn is on the verge of proposing to his long time girlfriend, Amy. Aiden is the youngest of the group and is pre-testosterone and pre-surgery, but aiming to raise money for his top surgery as the date approaches. And Max, the eldest, has been on hormones longer than both Jack and Davyn, but hasn’t had the financial resources to obtain his top surgery. What does it mean to struggle and succeed as a trans person in the complicated fabric of today’s society?”

 

Source: Brothers Series

 

 

(Trans) Parent Support

The resounding message of this blogger is: We want our children to be happy, healthy confident individuals.

Call Him Hunter

Hunters artworkThis is for all you parents out there who are struggling to accept your child’s coming out and desire to transition. As a parent of a transgender teen (FtM), I feel that I am “qualified” to share these words and sentiments.

Do you know…

Parental Support Matters? Only 15% of trans youth without parental support described their mental health as “very good” or excellent, compared to 70% of trans youth with parental support. (source)

Transgender people are more than 25 times more likely than non-transgender people to attempt suicide some time during their life?  (41% vs. 1.6%) (source)

78% of transgender youth in K-12 had experienced harassment? (source)

Recently I asked my son how our support has affected him since he came out to us two years ago. Do you know what he told me? “I feel confident about who I am. I don’t feel ashamed to be me.”

WOW. Isn’t…

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Day 2: JaNay Brown-Wood

If you haven’t already check out thebrownbookshelf.com. They highlight 28 African American authors and books in the month of February. Add some of these to your classroom library!

janaypic Photo by Michelle Wood Photography

As far back as she can remember, JaNay Brown-Wood loved to write. Whether spinning tales about a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Taylor or weaving mysteries that put her in the starring role as Detective JaNay, stories called to her as a child. She filled notebooks with her imaginings and dreamed of seeing her words in print.

Dream turned to destiny when grown-up JaNay won the picture book category of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Children’s Book Award with her lovely manuscript, Imani’s Moon. The prize was a contract with Charlesbridge.  Imani, her endearing main character, appears on the cover with her arms raised to the sky. We can picture JaNay that way too, smile beaming with arms stretched heavenward in triumph.

JaNay, an early childhood education professor, shares on her website that her advice to children is: “Believe.” Here she shares her inspiring path to publication:

“The children are the bright moon.”

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When Your Child’s Boy Friend Becomes Their Girl Friend

A great insight of how gender is a different experience for everyone.

Raising My Rainbow

C.J. met Samuel about three years ago when Samuel was a boy named Samuel. Now, Samuel is a girl named Sophia.

Initially, C.J. and Samuel bonded over being boys who liked to be mermaids in water and princesses on land. They painted their nails together, celebrated birthdays together and put on fashion shows together.

“Samuel is more gender nonconforming than I am,” C.J. would point out to me privately. It was a fact that often caught him by surprise because he rarely met a boy who was more gender nonconforming than he was.

About this time last year, Samuel decided — once and for all — that he was not Samuel, he was Sophia.

I had emotional talks with Samuel’s mom. We’d both always known it was a possibility that our sons were transgender; but, thinking it could be so and having it be so are vastly different. Nothing prepares…

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Why Showing Trans Youth Teachers Are Supportive Is Necessary

5ways

Source: Trans Student Educational Resources

 

This post has been weighing on my mind since early December. I wrote an Op-ed for the Advocate about public accommodations in schools for students who are transgender. Think about how being treated like everyone else in school can positively affect your day? Just before and after this piece came out there were several suicides within the transgender youth community. This saddens me that these individuals are gone and didn’t have the support and resources they needed. As an educator I want students to know that there are many of us who are here to support you, listen to you, and here to help you find resources. Continue reading