Effective Strategies for Teaching Gender Fluidity in Schools
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Implement inclusive language
  2. Address stereotyping
  3. Incorporate gender fluidity into the curriculum
  4. Encourage open discussion
  5. Promote positive role models
  6. Offer support and counseling services
  7. Create a safe and inclusive environment

As we navigate the evolving landscape of identity and expression, the need to incorporate education on gender fluidity in schools becomes increasingly evident. It's a topic that merits our attention and action—not for the sake of trendiness, but to promote understanding, acceptance, and inclusivity among students. How can we then, as educators, effectively teach gender fluidity? Let's explore some strategies that can help create a more inclusive and understanding learning environment.

Implement Inclusive Language

Teaching gender fluidity begins with the words we use. Inclusive language acknowledges and respects all gender identities, creating an environment of acceptance and equality. Here are some pointers on how you can practice this:

  • Neutralize your language: Instead of using gendered terms like 'boys' and 'girls', 'he' or 'she', you can use gender-neutral terms like 'students', 'they', or 'them'. This simple change can make a significant impact in promoting a sense of belonging among all students.
  • Respect personal pronouns: Always use the pronouns that a student prefers. If you're unsure, it's okay to ask. Remember, it's about respecting individual identities.
  • Avoid gendered phrases: Phrases like 'man up', 'ladies first', or 'be a man' reinforce gender stereotypes. Encourage students to express their feelings and actions beyond the confines of these traditional gender norms.

Remember, language is powerful—it shapes our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. By implementing inclusive language in our classrooms, we're taking a significant step towards enriching the education on gender fluidity. And who knows, this simple shift in the way we communicate might just be the ripple that creates waves of change in our society.

Address Stereotyping

Stereotypes can be a hefty roadblock in the journey towards effective education on gender fluidity. They tend to pigeonhole people into predefined roles based on their perceived gender, which can be particularly harmful for those who identify as gender fluid.

So, how can you help break down these stereotypes in your classroom?

  • Discuss the concept of stereotypes: Start by explaining what stereotypes are and how they limit our understanding of others. Make sure students understand that everyone is unique and cannot be boxed into rigid categories.
  • Challenge gender-based assumptions: If a student says something like "only girls cry" or "boys don't play with dolls", use it as an opportunity to debunk these misconceptions. Explain that emotions and interests aren't gender-specific—they're human-specific.
  • Encourage critical thinking: Teach students to question stereotypes and assumptions. This will not only deepen their understanding of gender fluidity but also foster an open-minded attitude.

By addressing stereotypes head-on, you'll be promoting a more nuanced and accurate understanding of gender. And remember, every time you challenge a stereotype, you're laying a brick in the foundation of a more inclusive and empathetic classroom.

Incorporate Gender Fluidity into the Curriculum

Now that we've taken the step to address stereotypes, it's time to move ahead. If we really want to make a difference in education on gender fluidity, we must weave it into the fabric of our curriculum.

  • Teach about gender identities: Create lessons that cover a range of gender identities, including gender fluidity. The key here is to explain these concepts in an age-appropriate and sensitive manner.
  • Use inclusive examples: When setting examples in subjects like maths, science, or English, try to include diverse gender identities. This can help normalize the concept of gender fluidity in a subtle yet effective way.
  • Include diverse literature: Incorporate books that feature gender-fluid characters into your reading list. This can provide students with a relatable and nuanced understanding of what it means to be gender fluid.

Remember, the goal isn't just to teach about gender fluidity — it's to normalize it, to present it as a part of human diversity. By incorporating education on gender fluidity into your everyday lessons, you're showing students that gender fluidity isn't an anomaly — it's just another aspect of human identity.

Encourage Open Discussion

Classrooms are the breeding grounds for ideas, thoughts, and conversations. Encouraging open discussions about gender fluidity can be a game-changer. It's vital to create an environment where every student feels comfortable to voice their thoughts, ask questions, and even express doubts.

  • Organize Q&A sessions: Have sessions dedicated to gender identities, including gender fluidity. Let students know that no question is too silly or unimportant. This can help dispel any myths and misconceptions they might have.
  • Use prompts: Sometimes, a little nudge is all it takes. You could use a story, a movie or a news article as a springboard for discussion on gender fluidity.
  • Be patient and supportive: Discussions on gender identities can be confusing and overwhelming for some students. It's important to be patient, provide clear answers, and offer reassurances when needed.

Open discussions not only promote education on gender fluidity, but they also foster empathy and understanding. And let's not forget, it's through these exchanges that we often end up learning the most!

Promote Positive Role Models

When it comes to education on gender fluidity, having positive role models can make a world of difference. Role models can be powerful as they offer students real-life examples of people expressing their gender fluid identities openly and confidently.

  • Highlight Historical Figures: History is dotted with people who defied gender norms. You can introduce your students to historical figures like the Public Universal Friend, who, in the 18th century, presented as genderless.
  • Discuss Contemporary Public Figures: Talk about contemporary public figures who identify as gender fluid. Ruby Rose, a well-known Australian actress, is a great example. Sharing their stories can help students understand that gender fluidity is not a recent concept, but has always been a part of human society.
  • Invite Guest Speakers: Inviting people who identify as gender fluid to share their experiences can have a profound impact. Hearing firsthand accounts can help students to better understand and empathize with their experiences.

Positive role models can play a crucial part in education on gender fluidity, showcasing the courage it takes to live one's truth. Remember, it's not about promoting a certain way of being, but about celebrating diversity and creating an inclusive, accepting environment.

Offer Support and Counseling Services

Understanding and navigating one's gender identity can be a complex journey, especially for young students. Offering support and counseling services is a key part of providing a complete education on gender fluidity.

  • Trained Counselors: Having a counselor who is trained in understanding and dealing with issues related to gender fluidity is important. They can provide a safe space for students to explore their feelings and questions.
  • Support Groups: Creating support groups for gender fluid students or those exploring their gender identity can provide a sense of community. These groups can be places where students share experiences, advice, and encouragement.
  • Resources for Parents and Guardians: Parents and guardians can play a major role in a child's journey. Providing them with resources to better understand gender fluidity can help them support their child more effectively.

Remember, the journey to understanding one's gender identity is personal and unique to each student. Offering support and counseling services can make this journey less daunting, and help students feel seen, heard, and understood.

Create a Safe and Inclusive Environment

When it comes to education on gender fluidity, creating a safe and inclusive environment is a must. Here is how you can help foster that environment in your school:

  • Anti-Bullying Policies: Ensure your school has strict anti-bullying policies that specifically include protections for gender identity. This can help provide a safer environment for your gender fluid students.
  • Inclusive Facilities: Consider the physical spaces in your school. Are there gender-neutral bathrooms available? If not, it might be time to think about creating these spaces to show your commitment to inclusivity.
  • Respectful Interactions: Everyone in the school, from staff to students, should know how to interact respectfully with gender fluid individuals. This means using the correct names and pronouns for each student.

Creating a safe and inclusive environment signals to your students that they are valued and respected, regardless of their gender identity. And remember, this is not just about the gender fluid students. It's about creating a space where everyone can learn about and understand different identities, building empathy and respect for all.

If you found this blog post on teaching gender fluidity in schools helpful and want to explore more ways to create inclusive environments, check out the workshop 'Queering Fashion: From Dress Codes to Wardrobe Hacks' by Lou Croff Blake. This workshop will provide valuable insights into challenging traditional dress codes and promoting self-expression through wardrobe choices, which can contribute to a more inclusive and accepting school environment.