trans, transgender, androgynous, non-binary, gender expression, gender identity, preferred pronouns, they/them, advice, care
Tara: Now that you’ve mentioned non-binary kids, can you tell us a little bit about them and, uh, what, uh, you know, they – how they might express themselves and what teachers can expect and how teachers can support them?
Syn: Saying how they might express themselves is pretty impossible. And honestly that holds true even for trans men. Like I very – I fit into the very stereotypical kind of, um, male look, but I have other trans male friends that wear makeup, or that wear pink, or... there’s not a specific set way to be trans, I guess, is like what I’m kind of getting at. Where some people are very happy in like an androgynous look, but identify as male inside. Some people identify as non-binary and may present either way, and the only way that you’re going to find out is ask them. “What are your pronouns?” It’s not a question we usually ask people. And normalizing that, not using gendered language is sometimes really hard to learn, and honestly, I find the biggest struggle that people, when I go into the community, have is with non-binary people because, they’re like, “Well, ‘they’ and ‘them’ are plural. I can’t use that with a person.” Um, and like explaining how to change your language so that, it actually, you get used to it. Sometimes, it’s self-taught at home, but I mean these kids, these kids will tell their peers that they go by “they” and “them.” They will make it known to who they’re around, usually, but they might be afraid to approach a teacher, because they’re not going to be sure how that would – how that would go for that particular teacher, right? So, it’s very much, yeah, it’s really hard to peg somebody who is non-binary, and I mean you, yeah, it’s hard to tell. It might be a more androgynous look or it might not be. So…
Tara: Right. Thank you for that. Any last words that you want to, uh, share with us about your experience, about trans kids in schools, about teachers, about principals?
Syn: One of the biggest harms that I think people in education can do is nothing. So, that’s a big one. So having that – having that caring and wanting to act, just that alone could make a difference.