This article addresses the common perception of gender non-conforming and gender-expansive identities as difficult classroom topics. The lack of gender-inclusive curricula in American schools results in a reactive approach to teaching about queerness, specifically about people who identify as transgender and/or gender non-conforming. Teachers need to adopt a proactive approach to teaching about queerness in order to prevent gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools and in the world. Trans-inclusive children’s literature has become more available in recent years. However, teachers need to be conscious of popular narratives that offer a limited perspective on people who identify as transgender and gender non-conforming people. The article recommends some recent gender-inclusive children’s titles that challenge dominant cultural narratives about transgender and gender non-conforming identities.

Author Biography

Shelby Brody

Shelby Brody (they/them) is an upper elementary school educator and literacy specialist. They are a recent graduate of the Reading & Literacy program at Bank Street College of Education and currently teach 5th Grade Humanities at Bank Street School for Children.



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