#5: What’s next?

I have been struggling with this week’s blog post because I feel like I know enough about the topic so that there isn’t much research that will really help me move forward. We are past the researching part and we need to start working on actually doing something. Eva and I met with Tim at the weekend meetup and we discussed what our next steps were. One idea that I think would work well is to have different phases. For schools that have already been introduced to the idea and are taking steps towards creating a safe and inclusive environment, we could skip the first phase of explaining the basics. For a school that has never been introduced to the topic, we would start at the beginning and go over basic things such as vocab.

In this week’s issue of the Seven Days, there was an article about what Vermont schools are doing to help students who fit outside the gender binary. The article also touched upon the other side of the argument, how parents were uncomfortable with the changes and didn’t want their child to be involved. Some people say they have a concern regarding personal safety if bathrooms are gender neutral, meaning anyone can just walk into whichever bathroom they choose.  However, I haven’t seen enough evidence to support this concern.  It always seems to be of more worry to the parents than the actual students affected by this.

Tim suggested finding places on social media where discussions relating to gender expression were taking place. I think this idea, while interesting, is not going to be useful in the long run to get my group’s project to the next level. That being said, I am a part of an Instagram page for the LGBT+ community, which although it is not really meant to start discussions, and is meant as more of a fun and informal thing, it has connected me to people all over the world experiencing the same issues.

In the meantime, I am working on identifying LGBT+ student groups in varied geographical areas in the United States and reaching out to them to see if they have similar outreach and education programs.




Walsh, Molly. “Vermont Schools Implement ‘Best Practices’ for Transgender Equity.” Seven Days. Seven Days, 5 Oct. 2016. Web. 09 Oct. 2016.


Photo by Stig Nygaard

Fiona Nelson

One Response to “#5: What’s next?

  • Fiona,

    I’m glad we had the chance to talk on at Mt. Philo and with Eva. While we wait for Eva to rejoin us in our electronic discussions and forums, I only imagine it’s a bit hard for you and feels isolating. I still think the vast majority of schools need intro/starter conversations with their faculty. They have never approached the subject of gender identity in any real way. I think writing that 1/2 page letter to school principals that suggest you can help them introduce that conversation to their faculty will be a positive next step for you to take. How can you say so much in such a small space? What will the format be? Introduction, documentary, follow up, QA?

    I think beginning to draft a concrete document that has a very specific audience in mind is a good next step. What do you think?

    Thanks for sharing that Seven Days article. I hadn’t seen it before now.


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