Gender impacts everyone. Sharing your story helps to open up the conversation and helps others to understand all of the ways there are to be in the world. Thank you for sharing!
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What does gender mean to you?
- What do you like about your gender?
- What do you find challenging?
- How do others treat you because of your gender?
- What do you wish other people knew about gender?
And for the grown ups:
- What happened when you read the book with kids?
- What did they talk about?
- What questions did they have?
We love photos too! Send us your pictures of kids reading Who Are You?!
From a second grader: “When I was in preschool, I used to like the color pink. But lots of people told me ‘Boys don’t like pink,’ and I didn’t like that because I just wanted to paint with pink.”
From a fourth grader: “For the Read-a-thon, we got to dress up as a character from our favorite book. I decided to be someone from your book… myself!”
From a parent: “[My child’s teacher] read it to the class, and [my child] came home beaming – they were so pleased to *finally* talk about their gender identity with their school friends openly. And thanks to all your work, they have a language with which to do that.”
From a first grade teacher: “I read your book to my class yesterday. They were all dying to take a turn with the identity wheel. I only had time for a few kids to take a turn and I was surprised when one kid chose “both” for gender. It made me realize how limited my thinking has been about my kids. I am just so moved by the space your book and that wheel creates for kids to unearth and express who they are. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!”
From a preschool teacher in San Francisco, CA: “I know how hard it is to find books that celebrate gender without focusing on the potential conflicts. Who Are You? really is a joy (and relief!) to have on my shelves.”
From a parent: “Hi! I’m nonbinary, and my pronouns are they and them. I am raising my child gender neutrally, and I looked all over the place for a really perfect book to help me teach her about gender versus sex, and pronouns and expression, etc. I am trying to build a picture in her mind of a gender neutral world until she’s old enough to really understand the bigger picture. She’s currently only one and a half. I know how difficult of a task it is, but I’m trying to keep her free from learning about the gender binary for as long as I can, besides the fact that “some people think” it’s that way. So far she has never seen a female person with long hair wearing pink labeled “girl” or a male person with short hair wearing blue labled “boy.” We use “they/them” pronouns for every single person who’s pronouns we don’t know, and we use the word “person” to describe them. Never man, never woman, never boy or girl. For now, anyway. I know in a few years I will have to make things a little more complicated, but she will always know there is so much more than boys and girls, and she will know that it’s up to her to decide how she feels inside before I can call her a boy or a girl, or whatever it is that she feels good being called. Thank you for making this absolutely flawless guide to gender to help me explain this concept to her. This will always be my favorite book that we own.”
From a young reader: “Hi. I didn’t find your book until recently, and I’m not exactly a kid anymore (13 to be exact). I just wanted to say that I love this book and what you’re teaching. I am a demiboy, but I was told that I was a girl all my life. I grew up with very strict gender roles, and when I came out to my parents, they were not accepting. I love that you’re educating people and helping spread love and acceptance. Keep at it! <3”
From a six year old: I used to be a girl but I changed to be a boy. But sometimes they still call me Maddie. I am six. When I went into the boys’ bathroom at school because I feel like a boy, they said that I needed to go into the girls’ bathroom, because some people think that I’m still a girl. When I went into the girls’ bathroom, they said that I was a boy because I had short hair and a boy’s backpack. But there’s no such thing as a boy’s backpack. Last week some older girls laughed and pointed at me and said “you’re a boy and you can’t go in the girl’s bathroom.”. I said, “I’m a girl–I got my hair cut.” They said, “You have a boy’s backpack” and I said, “Girls can like Spiderman too.” They said “Oh” and left me alone but it keeps happening in the bathroom and I don’t like going in there alone. My mom wants me to go with a buddy and my teacher wants the school to get a Gender Neutral bathroom. I don’t know which bathroom to use. We are all talking about it at school and figuring it out, and the teacher is helping us a lot.
From a fourth grade teacher in Los Angeles, CA: “I shared [with my class] the story of a second grader who didn’t feel like a boy or a girl, but liked things boys stereotypically liked and things that girls stereotypically liked and didn’t want to be called he or she. I asked them if they have ever felt like that. A LOT of them shared – I was really surprised. We closed with the last page of your book, [There are lots of ways to be a boy. There are lots of ways to be a girl. There are lots of ways to be a kid. Be who you are!]. It was a very powerful community circle.”
From a second grader: “My friend sometimes goes into the girl’s bathroom and kids say, ‘Why are you in here?’ and then my friend goes into the boy’s bathroom and kids say, ‘You don’t belong in here’ so that’s why I like that we have All Student bathrooms at our school.”
From a first grader: “People ask me a lot, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ and I don’t like it. I wish I could go to a gender school where no one would ask me questions.”
From the Director of Library Services and Instructional Materials for Albuquerque Public Schools, NM: “Many of our librarians may be interested in purchasing this title… [we will] be putting out a list of possible titles to support gender identity topics.”
From a Kindergarten teacher in Berkeley, CA: “I remember starting at this school 6 years ago, feeling very much alone and not very safe as an out teacher. Then, when I found out that we were one of the only elementary schools that had no Welcoming Schools teacher Liaison, I took on the job, but with some trepidation. Never could I have imagined how comfortable I would feel now. I know that if I feel that way, our children and families do, too. I appreciate everyone for helping our school be a welcome and safe place for all of us.”
From a fourth grader: “When teachers make kids line up as girls and boys, it can make people feel bad, because some kids might not feel like a girl or a boy.”
From a parent in Santa Clara, CA: “Thank you again for writing Who Are You?. We donated copies to our church and our preschool. In fact, earlier today, I helped guide a discussion of gender identity with the parent support group at our church, and I read Who Are You? to the other parents because it offers such a down-to-earth way into the language of gender diversity.”
From a third grade teacher in Oakland, CA: “I love this book! The parts about what you like to do and to wear are particularly great for sparking discussion. We talked about “girl things” and “boy things” and even got into a discussion about generational sensibilities–how things were when I was a kid, how things were when my mom was a kid, etc. and noticing how ideas about “girl things” and “boy things” have evolved and continue to evolve. I talked about how my mom loved to play stickball as a kid in the late 1930s/early 1940s, and was really good at it, and really proud of that, even though everyone said it was a “boy thing.” The illustrations of all the toys and clothes were really great and got students thinking about what they like to do and wear, and the importance of being able to be true to yourself and what you like and what makes you feel good. After we read the book I noticed a definite change in attitude about gender roles–especially around theater projects. The boys especially were much more open to reading any part, despite gender, without any kind of joking attitude or like it was something embarrassing or weird. There have been lots of times when a student has shared a thought or idea that shows a real acceptance of the idea that we are all unique, and our gender identities are just another part of what makes us us. I can’t help but feeling every time that it stems back to the discussions sparked by your book. It opened up a safe place for acceptance and appreciation of all of our many differences as human beings.”
From a parent in Albany, CA: “I wanted to help support your work at the schools – what I wouldn’t have given as a child for someone to have been doing that for me….! I enjoyed reading your book and will pass it along to the school library if they don’t already have a copy.”
From a preschool teacher in Oakland, CA: “So easy to read. Clearly defined with a way to help each child reflect on themselves!! I love it. I think the basic beginning would even be age appropriate for [our three-year-olds] in the Spring. I love the wheels and that you’ve left room to interact rather than just a “biology text”.
From a parent in San Francisco, CA: “Thank you for this book!! I want you to know that a good friend of mine has a gender fluid/nonconforming child who sleeps with it. It really was a book that was SO needed for so many kiddos and families. The timing also couldn’t have been more perfect with our own journey as a family this last year. I’ve recommended it to all my friends who are parents, teachers, and librarians.”