Post submitted by Welcoming Schools Northwest Regional Consultant Tracy Flynn:

HRC welcoming schools, white houseFlying from DC back home to Seattle after last week’s amazing Welcoming Schools Regional Consultants meeting, I was reminded by a fellow passenger just how important this work is.

Meeting the HRC staff and consultants left me energized by all that is happening and a bit awed thinking of the work yet to be done.  As I settled into my seat, the passenger sitting next to me, a kind and gracious person, offered to buy me dinner as we proceeded to talk about the work we both do.

He is an educator and sincerely wanted to know more about my work with Welcoming Schools.  As I talked to him, his interest and enthusiasm grew. 

And then he shared with me that his son was “one of those kids.”

He said his 6-year-old prefers all “girls things” such as, frilly, sparkly stickers and jewelry. He clearly loves and wants the best for his child,  but he worries that his child may suffer because of others’ discomfort. 

As a Welcoming Schools consultant, this is a story I hear over and over again. Being able to take away some of that fear and to share resources is an honor.

I promised to send him a link to our website and some resources on avoiding gender stereotyping when I landed.

It is synchronicity like this that makes me happy to be a small part of making this world a more just, loving and inclusive place.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Welcoming Schools program helps elementary schools avoid gender stereotyping, embrace family diversity and end name-calling and bullying.

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