curriculum, cisgender, absence, library books, health and physical education, gendered classroom, transgender, traumatic
Tara: What’s your experience with the curriculum?
Ruby: They definitely, I don’t think I ever saw books in school about, I think I just had them because my parents would be like, look at this! You can kind of relate to it. [Tara laughs] This is cool too! So I had those, but I don’t think, especially not in elementary school, I don’t think there was any. And even sex ed, my elementary school didn’t touch on it much at all, so that was problematic in and of itself. And I find that often it’s not written into the curriculum. It depends on a teacher who might just add in, this can happen too, by the way. But it’s not usually set, or the videos that we’re supposed to watch and stuff like that, it’s usually talking about a heterosexual relationship.
Tara: And I guess the same thing around cis-gender and transgender, um, sex ed. We’ve had some parents talk about how sex ed can be traumatic for their trans kids because, um, the sense of, all boys grow up to be men and all girls grow up to be women, if you’re in a moment of, uh, you know, thinking that. Or if you’re identifying as non-binary, that can be hard. Have, um, you had a chance to talk to any of your trans friends about any of that?
Ruby: Yah, a little bit. It also helps to have, sometimes even when the teachers aren’t even really completely on board, to have, like, other kids who are there, like, oh, I relate to this too. Because there are a couple students who do. Or like, yah, this isn’t fair let’s try to change this to help you. And not just, what are you talking about, it’s fine! People who are kind of there to help you do it. I know that one of my friends kind of felt really awkward in classes, especially because even, like, sex ed is also split, um, by gender. So it is – what they do is – so, some of it is together, and our sex ed is technically health classes. So we’ll talk about healthy eating together, and substance abuse together. And we’ll talk about having a baby together, and then for the puberty part, we’re split up. There was one of my friends who was starting to go through transitioning and looking into taking testosterone – looking into all of that stuff, and was like, I kind of need to learn all of this stuff, not about this stuff.
Wendy: So he was being put in the class with the girls, because he was presenting like that for now, but really wanted more information about what was going on in the guys’ class.
Ruby: But I think we should all learn about both sides, anyways.