Transgender Issues in Schools
Consultant: Ro Walker Mills
Gender identity is a newer topic of diversity in schools. Both educators and students are working to understand the issues and develop appropriate responses. Ro Walker is a young man who has experienced transgender issues and resolved those issues for himself. He is willing to share information and insights with others.
He offers three talks for schools:
- Students Understanding Transgender Issues
Target: Junior and High School students
Based on his own experiences as a bit of an “outlier” in high school, Ro brings a message of self-love and acceptance. The focus of this talk is on each person’s ability to make choices about how they define themselves and live authentically. This includes learning to excel at personal strengths and manage areas of need. Ro discusses how to deal with bullies and people who cheat on or diminish others and encourages everyone to look out for ways that they can celebrate diversity, develop pride and have a part in making other people feel included.
- Educators Understanding Transgender Issues
Target: Teachers and Guidance Counsellors
There has been a big focus on bullying in the last several years but there is still awareness needed in the subtle or covert ways that people who are LGBT* are diminished. Though no teacher or staff member would intentionally bully a student, misreading the context for trans students might actually be experienced as bullying. Ro covers a variety of topics including language, pronoun use, safe spaces and mental health to demonstrate how a deeper understanding of the trans experience can benefit students who are struggling with gender identity.
- The Language of Gender Identity
Target: Either students or school staff
Many people have a desire to be accepting and respectful with their language, but don’t have experience with the trans community and may inadvertently be unhelpful. In this talk, Ro covers frequently asked questions and areas of confusion including:
- Gender identity vs. sexual orientation
- How gender expression, orientation, identity and hormones work together to create personal identity
- The need for consent and boundaries in self-disclosure and relationships
- Questions that are fair vs. questions that are inappropriate
- What does being an ally look like?
All of his talks include multi-media, personal stories and relevant information. As a hip-hop and spoken word artist, Ro Walker is also available as a performer.