As children across the country go back to school, HRC joined two gender non-binary youth, Emma and Zeam, to discuss what teachers and administrators can do to create a safe and inclusive school climate for all students.
“Non-binary” is an umbrella term for people who transcend commonly held concepts of gender through their own expressions and identities. Other terms for non-binary might include gender expansive, gender creative, or genderqueer.
There are many ways to welcome non-binary students in the classroom, but the most important way is to not make assumptions about a student's gender identity based upon their gender expression. Emma and Zeam identify simple strategies, like asking students their pronouns, to help build welcoming schools and to ensure that LGBTQ youth feel supported and accepted.
Housed by the HRC Foundation, Welcoming Schools and Time to THRIVE are national programs to help LGBTQ youth succeed. Welcoming Schools provides professional development to educators and free resources to educators and families to support a respectful elementary school climate for all students. Time to THRIVE is an annual national conference that brings together K-12 educators, counselors and other youth-serving professionals to build awareness and cultural competency to better support LGBTQ youth.