Supporting LGBTQ+ Students
There should be more education for LGBTQ and i think there should be a whole new system in place. Up until 14, I didn't even know about gender identity and sexuality. There should be transparency about policies to deal with transgender students. They exist and we need to know more. These is an enormous spectrum and we need to understand how to support them. It's fluid and people move on the spectrum in their teens. School is home away from home so schools have to teach about yourself and how to understand others. - CAIS Student, 2015
CAIS Value: Inquiry and Understanding
We are committed to and promote life-long education, inquiry and independent thinking, the protection of human rights, and understanding and respect for differing perspectives and diversities among people.
This issue of transgender students is now a public conversation and many of our schools are already leading in the area of supporting students who are struggling with their identity. In our 2051 Project Student Focus Groups, we heard from our students that there is a need to address this area and provide more education (quote above).
We had a speaker at our Heads and Chairs Conference and a speaker, Ivan Coyote, at our National Leaders Conference.
Trinity College School recently had Nadia Bello speak to their faculty about the biology and sociology around gender diversity, and then engage in a discussion on what schools need to do through emotional support and programming/facilities to support transgender kids.
Nadia is a training and development professional who has extensive consulting and facilitation experience with public, private and non-profit organizations on issues of equity and diversity from a Human Resources and Organizational Development lens. Nadia is a former elected official for the Toronto District School board. She is a Certified Training and Design Professional (CTDP) and a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP). In addition to her consulting practice, Nadia is an Education and Communications Advisor at the Centre for Human Rights, York University, working with faculty, staff, students, administration and community to better understand and access human rights legislation, policy and education.
Contact Nadia Bello
- CAIS Webinar: (CAIS member login required)
- Respecting the Rights of Transgender Students - CAIS (2016).
- First Ever - CAIS National Student Panel on Supporting LGBTQ+ Students
Sample Policies, Guidelines & Resources
- Fraser Academy Policies and Procedures: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy - Fraser Academy (CAIS member school)
- Gender Identity & Expression - Smith College.
- Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions - Alberta Government.
- TDSB Guidelines for the Accommodation of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students and Staff - Toronto District School Board, revised 2013.
- TDSB Fact Sheet - Toronto District School Board.
- NAIS Guidelines for Schools Working with Gender Variant and Transgendered Students - NAIS, 2010.
- Supporting Transgender Students - NAIS, 2014 (NAIS Member login required).
- Tapping on the Glass: The Intersection of Leadership and Gender in Independent School Administration - NAIS, 2013 (NAIS Member login required).
- NCGS Transgender Position Statement - National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS), 2015.
- The Interactive Genderbread Person (website).
- The Genderbread Person - Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don't (website).
- Being Transgender in an Independent School - NAIS, 2016
- Taking Steps to Support Transgender Students and School Communities - NAIS 2016
- Toronto District School Board: Guidelines for the Accommodation of Transgender and Gender Independent/Non-Conforming Students and Staff
- Gender Creative kids - Resources for gender creative kids and their families, schools and communities
- Transgender / Gender Identity Resources - National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS)
- GLAAD: Glossary terms
- GLAAD: Transgender Resources
- PFLAG Canada
- PFLAG: Support and Resources for People Who Are Transgender or Gender Expansive, and Their Loved Ones
- Distress Centre Durham
- Gender Spectrum
- Trans PULSE
- Team Finch
- LGBT Youth Line
- Rainbow Health Ontario
- SOY Toronto
- Trans-Kin: A guide for Family & Friends of Transgender People
- LGBT Case Study: Greenhill School - NAIS, 2013 (NAIS member login required).
- LGBT Case Study: Westtown School - NAIS, 2013 (NAIS member login required).
- LGBT Case Study: The Pennington School - NAIS, 2013 (NAIS member login required).
- LGBT Case Study: Elisabeth Irwin High School - NAIS, 2013 (NAIS member login required).
A short documentary aired on 16x9 (Global Television).
Tracey Wilson and Harriet Cunningham are two 10-year-olds who were born as boys, but identify as girls. While their parents accept who they are - others don't - and "that" has ignited a debate - with both schools and the BC government.
Created by Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto for their "Are you an Ally?" Campaign, this video goes over how to be an ally to trans, intersex and two spirit people.
When we're born, a doctor instantly deems us to be one of two things: Male or female. But gender isn't just between our legs. It's also between our ears. So, what happens when how we look on the outside clashes with how we feel on the inside? Do we settle? Do we change? And at the end of the day should gender really be as big a deal as society wants us think it is? In this talk Decker Moss explores these issues and more, as he struggled through not only one but two major gender-related transitions in his life.
Yee Won Chong shares a story about the challenges of navigating the world while transgender, and provides suggestions on being a good ally.
Yee Won Chong converts practical skills and experiences to train hundreds of grassroots activists on effective communication and fundraising for social, economic and environmental justice.
The Harvard Book Store welcomes teacher, activist, and Harvard alum Alex Myers, the first openly transgender student at Harvard University, for a discussion of his novel Revolutionary.
Ashley Wylde is a queer and gender non-binary writer, activist, and travel enthusiast. Having written poetry since an early age, she began competing in poetry slams in January 2012, and attended the Women of The World Poetry Slam in March of that year in Denver, Colorado.
- LBGT Students Are Not Safe a School - The Atlantic, Oct 18, 2016
- Single-Sex Schools in a Gender-Neutral World - Tattler, Oct 13, 2016.
- Laurentian University adopts 'preferred name' policy - CBC News, June 1st, 2016.
- Bill C-16: A glorious trans-formation that went mostly unnoticed - The Star, May 22, 2016.
- University of Victoria announces world's first transgender studies chair - The Globe and Mail, Jan 15. 2016.
- Branksome Hall Celebrates Transgender Alumni In Magazine Cover - The Huffington Post Canada, Jan 21, 2016.
- Their story: 'I want to be somewhere between two fixed points of gender' - The Globe and Mail.
- Schools get guidelines on uniforms and toilets for transgender pupils - The Independent, Jan 29, 2016.
- The Power Struggle Over Transgender Students - The Atlantic, Feb 25, 2015.
- UK private school alters uniform code for transgender students - SBS, Jan 25, 2016.
- Obama's quiet transgender revolution - The Washington Post, Nov 30, 2015.