Why is this being discussed at school?

I decided to share a video today, one which I thought several of you might be interested in. I previewed it first and Jeremy walked over behind me to watch.

He watched mostly in silence. “Mom?” he said once the video was done. “My teachers think it’s creepy for a transgender man to use the men’s room or a transgender woman to use the women’s room. They think it’s gross for someone with a penis to be in the same bathroom as them.”

I try my hardest to be supportive of Jeremy’s teachers, as Jeremy has a tendency to be overly negative. However I have my limits. “I think they’re spending too much time worrying about other people’s genitals,” I retorted. “That isn’t any of their business.”

“I know,” he agreed. “And what’s weird is they don’t have any problem using the men’s bathroom if the women’s is too busy.”

Ahh… double standards at their finest. I kept my mouth firmly closed.

Two weeks ago, when Jeremy came home from school, I asked him what his teachers thought of his new hair colour.

“They said my hair’s going to fall out soon,” he replied with a sigh. “They said if my hair gets any longer I’m never going to get a job and that no one’s ever going to hire me with my hair dyed like this.”

His hair is showing no signs of falling out. If anything, it’s looking even healthier now that I bought him purple swirled berrylicious scented shampoo and conditioner. And judging by the parade of customers I see daily at work, I don’t think long hair or dyed hair are a barrier to employment.

Jeremy’s teacher talks about how understanding she is regarding gender issues. She’s taken women’s studies at university and is aware. I’m willing to admit she means well but I’m not entirely sure what she’s aware of. The thing is, Jeremy doesn’t identify as trans*. He identifies as male, or “mostly male with a bit of female”, or “a boy who thinks like a girl”. But at the same time, while he doesn’t identify as trans*, he also doesn’t fit neatly inside a gender box and he’s irritated by the almost daily comments he hears at school regarding gender.

I wish they’d spend less time in class discussing gender and how boys and girls are different from each other and more time teaching spelling and math.

As for the video I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m leaving it here. I know there’s a few of you who will appreciate this one 🙂

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One thought on “Why is this being discussed at school?

  1. It’s great that you give him space to be himself, unfortunately it’s also important that he understand the workings of the world.
    The world is heteronormative. We have to find a balance between self-expression and functioning in the “real” world (depending on our choice of profession).
    I’m very pragmatic, so I’ve adapted to what works best in my personal situation. Sharp and traditional look, short hair, well tailored suits, enunciation that’s crystal clear in a number of languages…
    It’s not always an easy balance to strike. Some people push the envelope, but that’s not necessarily the easiest path. I choose my battles very carefully. Jeremy should know he has a number of choices, and he can adapt and change his mind along the way.

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