Gender equity in education

by Jeff Camp | March 20, 2023 | 0 Comments
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Equal education for all kids, including transgender kids

American society is undergoing a massive, multigenerational shift in awareness and acceptance of sexual identities and gender identities.

According to national surveys by Gallup, only about 2.7% of those in the Baby Boom generation identify as LGBT. In Generation Z, the figure is 19.7%.

School systems play a critical role in supporting all children through their adolescence, in part by encouraging them to accept and respect themselves, as well as people different from themselves. The big numbers above suggest that the current generation of students are more in touch with their sexual and gender diversity than any generation in history.

Numbers are great, but people rarely develop an open mind on the basis of numbers and charts. According to national survey data, less than half of adults say they know even one transgender person. At the 2022 Ed100 Academy for Students Leaders we were pleased to host a conversation with three student "champions" from the GenderCool project, a nonprofit organization that elevates the voices of transgender kids who are thriving. Take a moment to hear from them:

Hate is on the rise

The GenderCool project is vital because it helps open minds.

America is not of one mind when it comes to acceptance of sexual diversity and gender diversity. Politicians and media figures have exploited generational and regional divides to drum up fear and resentment. It's dangerous.

According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), anti-LGBT incidents have spiked in the United States.

Communities in California tend to be more accepting of sexual and gender diversity than communities in other states. Some of those attitudes track with policies that vary by state. The map image below, from the Transgender Law Center, indicates the level of legal protection in each state. California and other "green" states have the most protections for transgender rights. The states shown in red have the fewest. Click the map to see the latest information.

Unfortunately for all of us, politics thrives on division. Polls have demonstrated that attitudes and fears about gender identity cleave the country in ways that echo partisan affiliation. A 2022 poll by Pew Research put some numbers to the divide.

The Equality Act

United States law does not provide equal protection to transgender people. In his 2023 State of the Union speech, President Biden emphasized that passage of the Equality Act is a top priority. Nike has helped to open minds in an ad campaign that features some of the students from the GenderCool Project:

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