Earlier this month, my class participated in discussions about transgender awareness week. We looked into the website provided by my school board which offered us many ideas of how we could learn and listen. Here is the website: Transweek Webpage The part of the mentioned website titled “Tips for Allies of Transgender People” was very helpful as it went over various situations many of us had found ourselves in before. The tips page can be found here: Tips These tips can be helpful for students, teachers, family members, etc. as many things we are currently doing could potentially be harmful for our trans students. Even something that we may think is as simple as “We are having a transgender week discussion today” to a trans student could be triggering.
Each student had a chance to write on a sticky note how they could be a supportive ally during transgender week this year. Here are the ideas from my grade 7/8 students:
- Don’t assume, don’t say the wrong pronouns
- Learn more about the history or Trans Awareness Week, be supportive and do not make any assumptions
- Tell everyone about awareness and ask them to spread awareness
- Do not be violent or rude to transgender people
- Do not make assumptions about transgender people and their sexual orientation
- Be nice, be friends and never ask someone if they are trans
- Ask pronouns before assuming genders
- Help raise awareness and visibility of transgender people and the issues their community faces
- Try not to be rude, everyone can be who they want to people, be careful not to mis gender someone
- Treat everyone the same, let them be who they want to be, show them that you care and that they can live their life. Never make someone share unless they want to
- Respect the person’s boundaries about their pronouns, sexual orientation and how they represent themselves
- Believing everyone should be what they want, they have a choice and they should be themselves and we shouldn’t judge that
- Post about in a respectful way (hashtag, etc), never ask what someone’s “real name” or use the wrong pronoun, respect them and their gender, listen if they would like to talk about their gender
- Don’t make assumptions and listen first
- Be supportive, respectful and respect boundaries and pronouns
I thought all of these ideas were incredible and are a clear sign of how supportive and respectful this generation is. I am really trying to be respectful and diligent in making sure I do not miss any of the Awareness weeks this year. I even left a full period open in my schedule to discuss them each week. I sometimes find it challenging to try to make them all into a lesson so sometimes a discussion is all you need. Discussing these real world topics is so important and I find it is often the most rewarding part of the week.
Looking forward to sharing next time about how our survey project has revealed our December celebrations and how we will celebrate them all equally.