More inclusive practices for gender non-binary/gender non-conforming | eePRO @ NAAEE
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More inclusive practices for gender non-binary/gender non-conforming

Greetings all,

Following up on the other thread on pronouns on name tags, what are the other practices and strategies you undertake to support all gender identities at your workshops, conferences, and other events? I am attaching some instructions we are trying out for making table tents (including pronouns). We also are thinking about how to find gender neutral bathrooms at the spaces we use and pointing those out for participants. What are your strategies and practices? Personally, I have been spending years changing my own language from things like "Welcome ladies and gentlemen" to "Welcome everyone". Changing my own wording is a work in progress.

Thank you in advance for your ideas!
Eileen

AttachmentSize
File table_tent_-_nameaffiliationpronouns.docx385.11 KB

HI Eileen,

I am a non-binary educator and I am actually planning a session proposal for the 2019 conference about inclusive programming and language for LGBTQ folks, disabled folks, and other marginalized identities. A lot of these techniques apply to conferences and workshops as well. Changing language is HUGE one so you are already on the right track. Changing from "ladies and gentlemen" to "folks" or "everyone" is fantastic. You can also use "their" instead of "his or her".

Table tents are a great idea as well. However, I would still encourage everyone to give pronouns in introductions verbally. I find it is VERY easy for folks to ignore pronouns on nametags or table tents and assume the wrong pronouns. Having everyone verbalize forces people to listen and respect them.

As far as making facilities accessible, this is a huge one. Having neutral restrooms wherever you decide to host an event can be an immediate welcome mat for folks like me.

Something that I've been thinking about and will touch on in my proposal is making LGBTQ identities a priority when reaching out to speakers, panelists, facilitators, etc. What I mean by this is that depending on what the subject matter is, LGBTQ folks have valuable perspectives to be shared and it absolutely DOES affect the way we position ourselves as educators and professionals. Making space for us to speak if we wish is something that I'm going to try to touch on in my proposals.

If anyone else has any techniques that they would like to share, I would love to hear them.

Hi, all. Thanks for the great discussions and resources shared. As part of our ee360 efforts and EE master’s program, we’ve collaborated with folks at The Safe Zone Project and The Venture Out Project. They’re terrific educators and also offer lots of (free!) on-line resources to build personal and organizational capacity re: gender inclusive spaces. The Avarna Group is also excellent and has a variety of resources available. For a start, see:
https://thesafezoneproject.com/resources/
http://www.socialjusticetoolbox.com/all-activities/
https://thesafezoneproject.com/author/meg-bolger/
https://theavarnagroup.com/resources/
Hope this information is useful and please reach out if I can help further!
Thanks much~
Libby

Hi, all. Thanks for the great discussions and resources shared. As part of our ee360 efforts and EE master’s program, we’ve collaborated with folks at The Safe Zone Project and The Venture Out Project. They’re terrific educators and also offer lots of (free!) on-line resources to build personal and organizational capacity re: gender inclusive spaces. The Avarna Group is also excellent and has a variety of resources available. For a start, see:
https://thesafezoneproject.com/resources/
http://www.socialjusticetoolbox.com/all-activities/
https://thesafezoneproject.com/author/meg-bolger/
https://theavarnagroup.com/resources/
Hope this information is useful and please reach out if I can help further!
Thanks much~
Libby

Hello all! I'm really enjoying this thread and the thoughtful comments everyone is contributing thus far. I just finished a great webinar hosted by Teaching Tolerance that some of you might be interested in. You can find it at:
https://www.tolerance.org/professional-development/webinars/lgbtq-best-p...

As an informal educator I always value learning from classroom teachers about how they navigate inclusive language, intersectionality, and community contracts. This webinar does a great job of giving practical advice in a short amount of time. Teaching Tolerance in general is a great resource for educators concerned with diversity and inclusion. I hope this is useful to y'all!

Thank you for the information. I am trying to put together a training for my seasonal staff on gender/racial/socioeconomic and other bias and privilege for building awareness. If you have any tips, lessons, videos or other that you recommend please share. Thanks in advance.

Building on what Aarin said, this website has a lot of good Do's and Don'ts for being better allies to trans people: https://uwm.edu/lgbtrc/support/allies/trans-ally-tips/

And here's some tips on creating gender neutral bathroom spaces: https://www.uua.org/lgbtq/welcoming/ways/bathrooms

-If you're doing a gender neutral bathroom, use signage that reflects nonbinary identities. For example, the "male/female" bathroom signs for single-stall restrooms aren't inclusive of nonbinary identities. Choose language like "All genders welcome". In general, avoid saying "the two genders" or "both genders" because the existence of nonbinary people proves that there are more than two genders :)

-Also regarding pronouns, when you mess up someone's pronouns (and you WILL! Most of my friends are trans and I still mess up sometimes if I'm tired or if it's someone I recently met), just correct yourself and move on. Don't make it a big thing - it's really not about you and making it a big deal just makes us feel like our presence is inconvenient for you. If you don't know someone's pronouns, ASK THEM. If you're cisgender (i.e. not trans) and folks are doing pronoun introductions, please just share your pronouns. Definitely don't make a joke about it or say something like "You can call me whatever you want." - doing that is guaranteed to get you some eyerolls and lack of trust from trans people in the room. PLEASE just share your pronouns (most likely he/him or she/her) and move on.

I also do want to note that, while cisgender people shouldn't assume it is a trans person's role to educate them on gender identity issues, I recognize that there are a LOT of misinformed and even downright hateful "resources" on the internet, so I do set myself up to do some education in this area. So if you've got questions, I'll answer them as I have the energy and capacity.

I wanted to add another thing to the list of simple inclusive changes-- clothing! It came up in another equity group I'm in for nonprofit professionals to not label the clothing styles by gender.

For example, our organization has T-shirts which are offered with certain membership levels and as an item for purchase. They were sold to us by the local printer as unisex/women/youth cuts. We instead call them box/fitted/youth cuts. This has been not only more inclusive of trans and nonbinary folk, but women who prefer a box cut have commented that they like our naming system as sometimes they feel self-conscious avoiding the shirt labeled as being for women. In general people find describing the cut shape much more helpful to understand.

Hi Folks - I'm leading a training for new student employees and I would appreciate any feedback on this short explanation I've drafted for why we are sharing our pronouns. I know there's nuance to how we talk/think about and share these and I welcome any feedback/detail/additions/deletions you have.
Here's what I plan to say:
You may have noticed we are introducing ourselves with our pronouns and have asked for yours so we can include them on everyone’s name tags. My name is Nina and I use she/her pronouns. This is Miles and his pronouns are he/him. However, some folks don’t identify as one of those binary choices - him or her. Some folks prefer the pronouns they/them because that better fits their identity. And sometimes the gender expression of a person (how they look to the outside world) doesn’t match their gender identity (who they are).
So, sharing our pronouns does a few things:
It normalizes the idea that your choices are not only he or she, but also they.
It prevents having to assume someone’s gender identity
It works toward including people who identify as non-binary or transgender in our common and accepted language
Because our language uses gender to differentiate how we refer to someone in the third person - we automatically have to assume that person’s gender - unless we ask - which is the recommended thing to do. You can simply say: What are your pronouns? Not as a way to dig into someone’s gender identity - but as a way to respect how they want to be called. And if you use the wrong pronoun, and get corrected, or remember that it’s the wrong one, just correct yourself and move on.

Hi Nina,

I just covered this in a training last week. I like your description. I found some great resources here - http://www.socialjusticetoolbox.com/. Also, I shared a poignant quote I found here -https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/13/pf/lgbtq-nonbinary-identity/index.html - "It may be difficult at the beginning. But I remember the discomfort I have when I talk to someone is way, way smaller that the discomfort of people who are misgendered. It doesn't cost me my identity if I'm an ally."

Thank you so much for sharing this!

I am pursuing a masters degree in Environmental Education from Prescott University. My background and primary focus is on adult education, specifically in the training/workshop environment.

I am an NAI certified interpretive trainer and I want to explore the ways in which diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can be incorporated into the field of interpretation through program development, outreach, collaboration and interpretive training.

I'd also like to research philosophies and strategies for the ongoing development of DEI best practices in the broader field of Environmental Education.

If you can think of any resources specific to the adult learning environment, that would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Thank you so much for sharing this!

I am pursuing a masters degree in Environmental Education from Prescott University. My background and primary focus is on adult education, specifically in the training/workshop environment.

I am an NAI certified interpretive trainer and I want to explore the ways in which diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can be incorporated into the field of interpretation through program development, outreach, collaboration and interpretive training.

I'd also like to research philosophies and strategies for the ongoing development of DEI best practices in the broader field of Environmental Education.

If you can think of any resources specific to the adult learning environment, that would be much appreciated.

Thank you.