For All Students, Including Trans and Nonbinary Kids
Gender is something that traditionally has been taught in very simple ways. Penis means boy. Vulva means girl. Men are taller and stronger. Women are curvier and can get pregnant. People can be either male or female.
When someone who does not fit these rules joins or reveals themself to a group that has been taught these rules from early childhood, it creates a fundamental friction for some people, which essentially boils down to a feeling that, “This isn’t right, this person isn’t following the rules.”
But the rules are wrong. Gender is not simple. Gender is a social construct. So is binary sex. Physical sexual characteristics can run such a huge gamut that there is often as much variation within a “sex” as there is between sexes. There are many individuals who simply do not have bodies that line up well with our basic assumption that XY means male with penis and scrotum and XX means female with vagina and uterus and breasts. Chromosome variations exist, ranging from Turner’s Syndrome (single X) to almost any variation of XXY, XYY and other duplications. Androgen resistance can make someone with XY chromosomes appear female by normative standards. Some babies are born with truly ambiguous genitalia, which in the past has been “treated” with surgical gender reassignment at birth, though the thinking on that is changing and many parents are deciding to let children decide later.