While some youth are breaking down the gender binary system and redefining what it means to be male or female, both or neither, there are parents who are helping their young children transition socially and medically from one gender to another. Schools are being forced to recognize transgender kids and their needs, as legal precedent is being set to protect children from discrimination.
As sex educators, counselors and therapists, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to offer sex education and support that makes sense to gender creative youth and their families.
This includes learning to address a range of concerns including naming body parts, dating and disclosure, physical and emotional safety, challenges around physical and sexual intimacy, and finding language to talk about sexual orientation, safer sex and contraception as it applies to gender diverse youth.
Studies show that sex education rarely takes into account transgender concerns and language. Some trans youth, for example, develop their own words for genitals, rejecting terminology they find alienating. Similarly, trans youth may tune out critical information that doesn’t speak to them: for instance, identifying as women, male-to-female youth may ignore information about using condoms. Or partners may believe that female-to-male (FTM) youth cannot become pregnant while on testosterone.Through examination of the gender binary system and narratives of gender creative youth and their families this presentation will provide tools, approaches, resources and language to provide sex education, counseling and therapy for gender creative youth.