Transgender Awareness Week: Gender diversity in education

In honour of Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19), Scout Gray shares their experience of gender diversity in education.
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Scout is part of a group that helps educators better understand and care for 2SLGBTQ+ youth in the B.C.’s K-12 education system, including transgender youth. Learn about the challenges they’ve faced, successes they’ve encountered, and what changes they believe could be made to improve care.

Portrait of Scout Gray

Scout Gray (they/them)

Scout Gray is the National Program Manager for ARC Foundation, the registered charity behind SOGI 1 2 3 (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity). SOGI 1 2 3 is an inclusive education initiative that equips educators with tools and resources for supporting 2SLGBTQ+ students and families, and creates safer and more inclusive school environments for all students. 

SOGI 1 2 3’s approach is working with educators to support them in developing the expertise, perspectives, and relationships necessary to better care for their students and provide a safe and accepting school environment. The overall goal of the initiative is to help educators better understand and care for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

In their work, Scout has stewarded positive changes in inclusive education when children reach their teen years, but notes there are still opportunities for improvement, particularly in less urban areas, and for children who are in earlier stages of their development. 

“More and more high schools have at least some educators and school staff who have the confidence and resources to support students, but I see the biggest need right now is in elementary schools,” Scout says. 

“A big part of our work involves making connections and building networks so that educators can learn from each other and share their knowledge and experiences. We don’t want educators to feel as if they are doing this on their own.”

“In smaller communities, schools are often one of the only places young people can gather,” Scout continues. “They’re a community hub in places that don’t have rec centres or queer youth drop-in centres.”

“Queer, trans affirming care doesn’t just happen in the city anymore. It happens everywhere; not everywhere perfectly, not everywhere consistently, but resources are becoming much more accessible in B.C., and that’s really good to see.”

Get involved in Transgender Awareness Week

If you’re interested in learning more about gender diversity or creating gender-affirming environments, consider registering for our online courses, including Introduction to Gender Diversity, Indigenous Gender Diversity and more.

As of November 2022, over 30,000 people have completed the introductory course, which has been incorporated as training at public agencies, educational institutions and private companies across Canada since 2019. 

In addition to Transgender Awareness Week, each November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize Two-Spirit, trans and gender-diverse people whose lives were lost as a result of hatred and oppression. Read Trans Care BC's statement here.

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