Flush Discrimination: A Free Lesson for Teaching About Bathroom Bills

Last week, we at the Teaching Transgender Toolkit were shocked and saddened by the passage of HB2 in North Carolina – a piece of legislation that has broad ranging, terrifying implications for transgender people in North Carolina and beyond.

“[North Carolina] also made it state law that people must use bathrooms in all public buildings according to the gender on their birth certificate. That includes public schools and universities. That includes all major airports. That includes government-run hospitals, libraries, DMVs, state and county courthouses, parks, and historic sites. Make no mistake: this is terrible news. North Carolina has just written mandatory government discrimination into its law. ” – National Center for Transgender Equality

IMG_1117North Carolina is one of several states that has recently, or is in the process of considering similar legislation. These states include: Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming. In Kansas, the law being considered goes so far as to encourage cisgender students to sue their school for $2500 every time they see a transgender peer in a restroom or locker room that is consistent with their peer’s gender identity. Because the United States currently lacks federal anti-discrimination laws that protect transgender people, there is no higher law that supersedes these abyssal state laws. The National Center for Transgender Equality is actively fighting these bathroom bills and is working to help establish national protections, and has an Action Center for anyone who wants to join the fight.

This type of fear and vitriol is not new.  Transgender people and communities have been fighting these battles for many decades. Thankfully, due to extensive educational efforts and ally building over the past years, there is now increasing acceptance and support for transgender people as we fight these battles. We at The Teaching Transgender Toolkit believe that transgender affirming education is a critical element in continuing to create positive social change for transgender people so that these battles become fewer and far inbetween.

To this end, we are providing open access to our lesson plan:  Everyone’s Gotta Go: The Importance of Restroom Access. This lesson is designed for implementation with adult audiences, and helps clarify myths/facts while engaging in an empathy building exercise. This can be used by educators as a standalone lesson or as a part of a longer training with other lessons from The Teaching Transgender ToolkitThis lesson includes a list of talking points, myth clarifications, and strategies & solutions that can also be referenced in everyday conversations when discussing HB2 and other anti-transgender bathroom bills.

Download your copy of Lesson 11: Everyone’s Gotta Go: The Importance of Restroom Access here.

The Teaching Transgender Toolkit: A Facilitator’s Guide to Increasing Knowledge, Decreasing Prejudice & Building Skills is a comprehensive guide that provides information, practical guidance, best practices, and lesson plans for teaching about transgender people and communities. Learn more and purchase your copy at www.teachingtransgender.com

6 Questions For Allies to Consider When Facilitating Transgender Trainings

 

Who am I to be doing this work? Is this appropriate work for an ally to be doing? How do I know if I am representing this community in the best possible way? How can I hold myself accountable to the communities I am advocating for?

These are important questions to for every ally (across all identities and demographics) to consider when deciding whether or not to facilitate a training about a topic outside of their own identity and experience. The best ally work is always work that is in progress. Regardless of our identities, we can always do a better job at being better allies/advocates. As facilitators we have a particular obligation to make sure that we are doing the very best that we can do, so that our trainings maximize the potential for positive social change.  In the context of transgender-related trainings, the end goal is to contribute toward a world that is safe and affirming for transgender people. Continue reading “6 Questions For Allies to Consider When Facilitating Transgender Trainings”

2016 Transgender Conferences

If you are a trainer who is looking to increase or update your knowledge on current trends, best practices, and awareness of other segments of transgender communities, conferences can be a great place to go!   Maybe you are looking to learn more about specific medical interventions, people with non-binary gender identities, current policy initiatives, or see how other people are training on transgender-related content.  At transgender-specific conferences, you can often learn about each of these topics and more in the same place – all while supporting transgender communities.   Continue reading “2016 Transgender Conferences”

Why We Train: Drops in a Bucket

Drops In The Bucket

While conducting a Train-the-Trainer series this past summer, one of my participants asked:

How will we know if we are successful?

It’s a great question. We all want to know how successful we are at achieving our training goals, but there is not always a fast and easy way to measure our success.  In large part, it depends on our specific goals and objectives for a training.

Continue reading “Why We Train: Drops in a Bucket”