News

I teach 9 year olds about gender identity in primary schools


Jack Lynch wearing a pink cap

From as young as I can remember, I wore dresses and high heels, make-up and necklaces (Picture: Jack Lynch)

‘I feel like you feel,’ a nine-year-old student told me recently.

‘I don’t fit into a box that everyone else seems to fit into. I don’t like doing normal girl things. I like football and wearing boys’ clothes.’

It was the start of last year and I was speaking to a group of roughly 60 Year 5 and 6 children at a primary school in Sussex about my gender identity as part of my role as Workshops Lead for Pop’n’Olly – an LGBT+ education company for primary-aged children.

Whether this child was non-binary – like me – or simply a girl who dared to break traditional gender stereotypes was irrelevant. They were seeing the representation that I so desperately needed when I was their age and recognising something similar in themselves.

And so it makes me incredibly sad that the government is set to end sex education for primary school children under nine in plans expected to be published on Thursday.

It is reported that these plans include banning teaching these children about gender identity.

From as young as I can remember, I wore dresses and high heels, make-up and necklaces (Picture: Jack Lynch)

Allowing children to see that difference is not something to be ashamed of but, instead, something to be proud of is crucial in helping children develop not only kindness and empathy towards others but also kindness towards themselves.

I grew up in south London and was lucky enough to have supportive parents who allowed me to be me. From as young as I can remember, I wore dresses and high heels, make-up and necklaces – at home, to the shops, anywhere and everywhere I could.

I felt comfortable being flamboyant and dramatic. I just felt like me.

However, when I started school around the age of five, it quickly became clear to me that being a ‘boy’ came with a certain rulebook – one that certainly didn’t include my big femme energy.

I remember realising almost instantly that I stood out and this made me feel extremely vulnerable. I was teased for the way I acted, walked, talked, and even my ‘flamboyant’ hand gestures.

I don’t recall much about this bullying in my first school but what stays with me is that the teachers did nothing to stop it. So much so that my mum had to move me to a different school.

I stopped wearing dresses and heels altogether and wore jeans and t-shirts instead (Picture: Jack Lynch)

So I decided to ‘fix’ myself. I stopped wearing dresses and heels altogether and wore jeans and t-shirts instead. On top of that, I tried to act like the boys I saw around me – masculine, football-supporting, sporty and brainy. 

Despite my ‘corrections’, I still went through school with a permanent fear that someone would find …read more

Source:: Metro

      

(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *