Inclusive culture for gender diversity begins with awareness

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By James Wells 

The most important schooling need for gender-diverse children is an accepting culture – and that is created through basic awareness, an expert argued.

Dr Elizabeth Riley, Sydney-based gender counsellor, said awareness should begin with educating staff. This should then trickle-down to educating parents, and finally kids. Riley explained children should be last because they’re usually the most accepting of their peers struggling with gender identity issues.

“What I notice is that the kids are usually fine,” she told Education Review. “It’s the parents of the other children who sometimes have questions. I’m often asked to do a parent information night and sometimes the principals might be a little bit nervous if we’ve got this family coming in. But again, what I notice is that when I finish the presentation there are so many positive voices and appreciation for how the principal and the school are handling the issue.”

Riley will speak more about these issues at an upcoming conference. She sat down with Education Review to discuss. Listen here:

https://soundcloud.com/educationreview/elizabeth-riley 

This article was first published in Education Review

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