Gender and sexually diverse students: Creating comfortable schools (Encore)

We speak with Dr. Elizabeth J. Meyer of the University of Colorado about ensuring that K-12 schools are welcoming and safe for students with non-normative gender identities and expressions. Dr. Meyer found that these students thrive in schools that center student-directed learning and interdisciplinary exploration as opposed to schools that replicate society’s toxic hierarchies. Generally, students are much more comfortable talking about issues related to gender diversity than their teachers or parents.


00:00-00:40 Intros

00:40-02:23 Title IX coordinators and their challenges

02:23-03:32 Equity directors and their challenges

03:32-05:55 Equity directors: race, class, and gender and sexuality

05:55-07:05 Race as entry point to conversations about other marginalized groups

07:05-08:38 “Gender-creative”—what it means and why use it

08:38:11:01 Impact of school structures on creating comfortable environments

11:01-12:08 Schools as gender-policed spaces

12:08-13:59 Student-led gender audit

13:59-16:29 Transgender students and sports

16:29-17:46 Students are generally more comfortable in conversations about gender and sexual diversity than adults

17:46-19:04 Texas governor’s ban on gender-affirming health care

19:04-22:00 Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill

22:00-23:11 Teacher ed and leadership ed programs

23:11-24:42 How principals can become proactive before a crisis

24:42-26:28 Book banning and “curriculum transparency” bills

26:28-27:04 Life and death situations—“Why aren’t we talking about this in our school?”

27:04-28:05 Comparisons with other countries

28:05- Outro


Click here to see the full transcript of this episode. 


Click here to go to Dr. Elizabeth Meyer’s website. 

Soundtrack by Poddington Bear