Day 89 (of 189) gender affirming care and diversity
Training via our local SOGI team – with a sidebar that I like that the “singular use of they/them” that I used in my writing at the end of secondary/start of university much to the detriment of my final grades, has found a place and use in everyday lexicon!
I do feel good that most of the first items on the agenda are very familiar- though I am still coming to terms with the “retaken” words of Queer and Trans as umbrella words for lgbtq+ because the words are still associated with negative uses. I know I’ll get over it – just admitting my internalizing.
Mind you – when it comes to pronoun use/declaration – I like to say that while I use he/him/his, there are many other descriptors used in reference to me – the most endearing remaining AF (awesome father to my kids, asshole face to my friends – especially when I tease about the weather) but if you make a mistake
Apologize (if necessary)
We also need to be aware of the high risk for self harm of our Queer and Trans students – not because of the sexual orientation but because of the segregation isolation and other social conditions that many will experience that can lead to distress, anxiety and depression.
But supportive parents and schools (with GSAs established as an example) can reduce risk to self harm (and ideations) by 50%
Positive factors that create a supportive environment:
- Using correct names/pronouns
- Being able to live in felt gender
- Sense of belonging
- Parent/family connectedness (caring, warmth, satisfaction with relationship)
- Peer supports
So….kinda like every kid❤️
Policy of respect
People should be treated according to their self-identified gender.
Gender affirmation model
- Gender variations are not disorders
- Gender variations are healthy expressions
- Gender presentations are diverse and varied across cultures
- A persons gender nah be binary, non-binary, fluid or multiple
- Distress connected to gender most often stems from negative reactions from the outside world.
So much is internalized. Contextualized it can be an expected reaction.
It is a multi prong approach to successfully create safety and access to all
- Physical space
Sidebar – much like a friend of our family whose child found a book they wanted to share at school because “it’s me!” And brought ‘Princess Boy’ to school but was then informed it was not on the approved reading list for the district. As I explained: there is no list of approved reading books.
And even a reading g break during lunch brought forth an important mention:
“a community that valued inclusiveness should answer “yes” to the question, “When they look at us, can they find themselves?”
Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
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Mindsets matter: what was called sex change surgery shifted to sexual reassignment and most recently sexual affirmation surgery – because it affirms the gender feeling of the person. There is no “one way” to transition.
But as with all positive interactions that are person-centred for ALL
- Consider power in all interactions
- Feedback informed
- Listening (can be scary for them; take them seriously; sometimes we ask too many questions – use wait time and allow them to fill in the silence)
- Confidentiality (be clear who gets to share -them- , what is/isn’t confidential up front, share only with permission)
- Referrals (that youth want; not assumed; call ahead; ask if youth have Qs)
- How can I help
- What names pronouns should I use
- Would you kind me to use other names pronouns around other people
- What information would be helpful
- What is helping right now? What is not helping?
- Is there any information you need?
Even MyEd has a section below “gender” in student demographics called “preferred gender”
The new norm for greetings? (I kinda like it!)
Hello – what name and pronouns do you use?
Overall a good day for our SOGI team to get some alignment before we meet again!