Reading Response #8: Deepening the Discussion: Gender and Sexual Diversity

This weeks assigned readings were informational in the sense that they demonstrated looking deeper past your comfort zone when it comes to sex and gender. As a student coming from a small farming community, I never needed to think about sex and gender, since it was never brought up throughout my friend group or my small school. Before learning about sex and gender, I was an example of heteronormativity. I would look at an individual and guess that they were heterosexual unless they would tell me differently. What I learned very quickly through my education classes, and other classes I have taken throughout my first year of university, is that I can not assume someone’s gender, just like I can not judge a book by its cover.

Before the reading, I never fully understood the difference between gender and sex. I can now distinguish that sex refers to the chromosomes you are born with that form your genitalia and reproductive organs that distinguish you as female or male through biology. Gender refers to gender identity referring to one’s feelings and emotions to being female, male or other without the use of biology context. By understanding these basic terms, it makes it easier to understand one’s gender identity and how they wish to identify themselves.

I was able to make a connection to a previous reading that we have done this semester. The reading “The Heart of a Teacher” discussed some important points that also were talked about in this weeks reading. The previous reading touched on the importance that teachers need to fully understand themselves to be able to teach their students successfully. The same topic was discussed in this reading that teachers need to understand their identity so they will become confident and comfortable in talking about a student’s identity and teaching about gender diversity in the classroom. To understand all the complexities that make up a child, we must be able to understand the complexities that are within us as individuals.

Understanding the importance of learning about gender diversity, we as future educators must be ready to teach about gender diversity in a comfortable setting for all students. It not only helps the students that are trying to find themselves, but it will allow your classroom and all students to be more diverse and educated on topics that are often ignored because it makes people uncomfortable. As well as being future educators, we must steer away from our personal beliefs and ideologies to ensure that all our students get a whole, well rounded, and un-bias education to teach them all the possibilities this life has to offer them. Teachers also need to represent sexual diversity throughout the school before a child comes to them for help or advice. Teachers can do this by teaching gender diversity openly and making Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups available to students. This shows the students that the classroom and the school are open to discussion.  School plays a strong role in finding one’s identity and we as teachers need to recognize the diversity and encourage it.

We have been taught that having an openly diverse classroom is important for the development of all your students, but how are we supposed to do that when we are not fully educated on the topic to be able to comfortably discuss these touchy issues? Just like inclusive education, I believe a class on sexuality and gender should be mandatory to all education students no matter what education program they are in.

I am left puzzled because the reading states that it is against the law to discriminate an individual for the way they choose to identify themselves, but we see discrimination in the classroom and in media all the time. On the news, President Trump recently stated that transgendered people are not allowed to serve for their country. How are we supposed to form a classroom that respects all individuals for the way they identify, if children are still seeing heteronormativity throughout the world and by very powerful leaders of our world?

Understanding all the diversity I will see throughout the classroom, I have many lessons I want to learn before I enter my own classroom, so I can speak comfortably on all topics rather it be inclusive education or the topic on gender diversity.

Deepening the Discussion: Gender and Sexual Diversity