GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, lists the Transgender Day of Remembrance–occurring annually in November–as one of the events it promotes for recognition in public schools.
GLSEN defines “Transgender” as a term referring to “people whose gender identity is not aligned with the gender they were assigned at birth and/or whose gender doesn’t conform with traditional or societal gender norms.”
While marketed as an event designed to honor transgender people who were victimized or murdered, the activities and materials GLSEN promotes for it clearly cross the line into political activism.
Here are some of the things GLSEN wants students and educators to do during this event:
- Sign a pledge committing, among other things, “not to use gender-biased language” and to “respect the diversity of all gender identities and expressions.”
- “Celebrate Transgender Heroes”–including Leslie Feinberg: “Leslie’s acclaimed writing has galvanized hir place as a transgender icon. Ze wrote several books about the transgender experience: novels Stone Butch Blues and Drag King Dreams and non-fiction books Transgender Warriors…”
And just in case some readers were wondering, the use of “Ze” and “hir” are not typos! That is how the GLSEN document for Transgender Day of Rememberance is written. Apparently, GLSEN is now engaged in a quest to remake the English language in schools to accomodate transgender advocacy.
GLSEN also recently launched a “Transgender Student Rights” effort. The online initiative provides resources, including a student guide that tells students “to become familiar with relevant terms as you work to expand your thinking about gender.” Some of the terms given to “expand” their thinking include:
- “Androgynous: Used to describe a person whose gender expression and/or identity may be neither distinctly female or male…”
- “Genderism: The systematic belief that people need to conform to the gender assigned at birth in a gender-binary system that includes only female and male. Related to sexism, genderism is a form of institutionalized discrimination as well as individually demonstrated prejudice.”
- “Genderqueer: A term used by people who identify their gender to be somewhere on the continuum in between or outside the binary gender system altogether. Genderqueer people may prefer a gender-neutral prounoun.”
- “Transsexual: A person who does not identify with their birth-assigned gender and sometimes alters their body surgically and/or hormonally. The transition (formerly called ‘sex change’) …may take years and may include, but is not limited to, sex reassignment surgery.”
- “Drag king/queen: A person who wears clothing of another gender, often involving the presentation of exaggerated, stereotypical gender characteristics.”
- “FTM (female to male): “used to identify a person who was assigned a female gender at birth and who identifies as male, lives as a man or identifies as masculine.”
In addition to giving students all of these definitions, GLSEN lists the definitions below (these are exactly as they appear in the GLSEN student manual):
“Man: [no definition]”
“Woman: [no definition]”
The message is clear–God-designed biological genders have absolutely no meaning, so people can create their own gender and sexuality any way they see fit. According to GLSEN’s definitions, people are not born with a biological gender, they are merely “assigned” it by a narrow-minded society.
The GLSEN manual also urges students to:
- Raise awareness about“transphobia,” which is defined as “Forcing people to select ‘female’ or ‘male’ on forms … Having the sex one was assigned at birth printed on one’s driver’s license …”
- Have a group discussion about discrimination against transgenderism, featuring questions such as, “What do your genitals look like?” and “How do you have sex?”
- Practice using “gender neutral” pronouns such as “zie” instead of “he”
- “Launch a campaign to create a gender-neutral, all-genders or multi-gendered bathroom at your school.”
- “Show and discuss a feature film or documentary about transgender issues”
How can we respond compassionately to individuals struggling with their gender identity, while also communicating a loving message about God’s design for sexuality? To learn more about this, read What About Transgenderism? and God’s Design for Sexuality.