As professionals working with families and their children, there is a unique and influential role to be played in helping create the conditions where children can be safe in authentically expressing and identifying their gender. By embracing the richness of the gender spectrum, teachers, counselors, therapists and other adults working with kids can help to broaden their own as well as children’s understandings of gender, and in so doing, help every child feel seen and recognized.
An important part of that work is to consider one’s own experiences, messages, and beliefs about gender, both growing up as well as in your professional role. Spend a few minutes looking over and answering the following questions. Write your answers down, and hang on to them. You may find it interesting to revisit your reflections at some point in the future, after you have had a chance to learn more about gender through training and your own efforts.
Know that there are no “right” answers; each of us comes by our own understandings of gender in a context. Messages and traditions associated with gender are complex reflections of society, family, culture, community and other socializing forces. Use this opportunity to pause and examine your own gender history.
Instructions: The exercise is divided into two parts: the first asks you to think about your own personal experiences with gender, while the second looks at your professional experiences. When you finish, click "Review" and you will be directed to a page with all of your responses. From this page you may edit, download or print your responses, if you desire. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONFIRM YOUR RESPONSES. ONLY CLICK ON "CONFIRM" IF YOU WISH TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH GENDER SPECTRUM. WE WILL NOT SHARE ANY STORIES PUBLICLY WITHOUT YOUR ADVANCE, WRITTEN CONSENT. Click to the next page to get started!