Everything you need to know about gender if you’re a parent.
You can do this and you’ve got lots of help!
Teachers are following the lead of their students by figuring out how to make schools do better through the lens of gender. Safer and more affirming.
"Ten years ago, I wasn't really talking at all about transgender in my classes," said Emily Umberger, who teaches…www.nytimes.com
Yes, young person, gender is a scam and at this point we can mostly agree that it does more harm than good.
While we are in the middle a great example of the long arc of progress bending more quickly toward justice, we have to remember that it’s not for all teachers. Not all students. Not all parents.
If you have a kid today, they are going to know people who explore the spectra of gender identity and performance. They’ll know people who are trans and people who aren’t girls or boys. They’ll know people whose descriptions of gender you might be need to google.
As a parent, you might be freaking out.
You’ve got enough to keep up with in helping unpack the racism and sexism that make dominate news-cycle after news-cycle.
That’s totally normal and good. It means you want to help.
I’ve let you scroll long enough, here’s the secret.
Love your kid and learn with them.
You can start right now by sharing this with your parent-friends!
Most parents are cisgender.
Which means that for us, our experience with gender and sex was basically as described in the encyclopedic health class curriculum.
Literally every trans or nonbinary person I’ve ever met has cis parents. Most of the cis people I know too (but not all)!
Cisgender is a pretty new concept but now that we have language and the social internet to hear stories from folks whose lived experiences are different from our own, it is now more likely than ever that your kid won’t be cis. I’ll say it again, in bigger font.
It is more likely now than ever before that your kid will be trans or nonbinary. They’re more likely to have a gender identity that your parents still have never heard of.
Again, this isn’t true because folks weren’t trans* before. As our language and empathy expands, we’re just starting to understand the depth of gender.
Young people explore their identities. Now that our maps — our words that we use to describe experiences — are getting better, gender is finally more meaningfully navigable.
We have the internet now!
On the internet you can find so many stories from folks whose lived experience is different than yours. Reading these stories helps you build and deepen empathy and empathy is your best tool to being a better parent.
Empathy is your best tool to being a better parent.
Empathy makes you pick up the books and crack open the google. It makes you read the articles about tactics for how to understand your kids better.
Your kid is going to have questions about gender.
My parents (and I hope yours) were ready for questions about sexuality and race and sexism. At this point, I’m sure you know that those questions are coming too.
But we’re lucky, we get a new layer!
It’s our job now to have the resources to have a meaningful conversation with our kids about gender and sexuality (and race and class and ability and all sorts of other intersectional lenses).
I’m collecting some of these resources here but I want to know where you find them!
What books are you reading to your kids?
What resources and guides have made you feel ready to jump into these conversations?
Where are these conversations happening and how did you find them?
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