This week we had an awesome PD put on by our LGBT Club during our monthly staff meeting this week and they had some great advice for teachers that I wanted to share.
Probably one of my favorite things our scholars shared with us was the Gender Unicorn. It breaks down the different parts of gender identity and helps individuals describe their sexuality and identity in a multifaceted way. Check it out here!
Our scholars also gave great information regarding pronouns. Most teachers give some sort of get-to-know-you survey at the beginning of the year. They recommended adding a “preferred pronoun” question to this survey. The club advisor also recommended you ask three questions if a scholar does ask for a different pronoun:
- Who knows?
- Can I tell other people? Parents?
- Would you like me to address you that way in front of the class?
These questions are important because you don’t want to out a scholar who isn’t ready, or accidentally out them to their parents from whom they were keeping their identity secret. In fact, it’s illegal in some states. Accidentally outing a scholar to their family could have drastic repercussions: abuse, conversion therapy, rejection, etc.
Addressing the Class
This question came from the teachers. Many teachers will address the whole class as “Ladies and Gentlemen” or “You Guys” and a few were wondering if that might isolate non-binary scholars. Our scholars indicated that it depends on the individual, and that “Guys” is now colloquially accepted as gender neutral. Although I like the club advisor’s recommendation of “Guys, gals, and non-binary pals.”
*All information contained in this post was provided by the Del Lago Academy LGBT Club