transgender, trans, gender identity, gender expression, TG Innerselves, queer, mental health support, community resources, social support groups, Pride, addressing queer issues, awareness, non-binary identity
Kate: What do you think is the value of teachers, um you know, when they move to a community, learning what the different resources there are out there for community members, um, that are not, you know, that are not school resources but community resources? Do you think there’s a value in that, and how come, and why, if you do?
Syn: Yeah, for sure, of course there is. Um, I mean, it’s finding them, right? So, that might start with asking a teacher who’s been at that school longer what they know is locally available, asking the vice-principal. Because a lot of the time the people in the office are doing a lot of that behind work where they’re finding resources to pull in. Usually, there’s some kind of a mental health person that also does, like, a couple days at a school, where they’re handling the more difficult cases. So, that’s yet another way. Um, if it’s a queer kid, looking for things like, is there a Pride community there? Are there social support groups? Are...you know, and those are things that...I mean sometimes, it’s as easy as a google search.
Syn: You know? “Transgender Sudbury,” you’ll get TG Innerselves. Because that’s just kind of the way the world’s gone technology-wise, right? So there’s definitely a value, there’s a value even in schooling. While these teachers are being taught in bringing up queer issues, because if they go into that situation, and they have absolutely no understanding, no background, no personal history with anybody who’s trans, they might not have any understanding of what that kid could be going through. So, in bringing up what that means. And, that this isn’t a child that’s trying to...because sometimes you get people who are like, “Well, they just like being different, and they’re acting wacky and this is part of...this is just a phase.” And they, some people kind of underestimate just how powerful it is, and that it’s something that people can’t change. They can spend years trying to, but it’s still who they are inside, right? So, I think having that experience throughout schooling is really important, too. For educators, for healthcare, for anybody who’s serving the public, they need to know what is queer, what does that include, what is trans, what does that include. I mean, there’s obvious cases. Like, I transitioned from female to male, so that was pretty clear cut, but you also have non-binary kids.
Syn: There’s such a spectrum with trans identities so I think having some of that background going in is really important.