Multicultural: 4 Areas of Action

Here are 4 areas where you can put truth to action:

  • 1. Think differently. Open up to the possibility of thinking outside of LGBTQI2S+ Western frames in relation to gender and even sexuality. Again, this includes thinking beyond opposites and binaries, beyond stereotypes and generalities. Take time to look at nuance, greater and greater inclusion, what erasure if any is functioning and if and how context influences things. Try looking at things from new and larger perspectives. For example, it’s not about thinking queer/trans/intersex indigenous people are exactly the same as our contemporary community. What is different? What is there to learn?
  • Call Me Tree2. Speak truth. Open up to new ways of speaking that reflect an expanded understanding of international, multicultural perspectives on sexuality and gender.
    • In my book Call Me Tree I don’t use pronouns, all of the kids are in nature and all of them are in poses inspired by the Yogic Tree pose. I wanted to create a framework that could be used to explore an expanding reality.
    • It begins with nature, then connects the kids to their bodies through Yoga, specifically the Tree pose and variations thereof. This provides an opportunity to learn about Yoga and India. We can learn that India has a legal third gender. We can then reflect back on the book and explore the kids’ genders.
    • I wrote a letter to my readers acknowledging that the main character would have been assigned female at birth and ask how does knowing this change their understanding of the other kids in the book?
    • View the Reader’s Guide for even more discussion about trees, yoga, and gender identity and how to use the book.
  • 3. Interrupt falsehoods. Speaking truth is awesome. As we expand how we talk about nature and break down the binary we can include stories and awareness of many cultures. The more perspectives we learn about the more resources we have to draw from, especially for our kids, as they move into new understandings beyond our experience. Again, we must also take the time to say what is not true and acknowledge that almost everything around us is saying these untrue things, but that doesn’t make them anymore true. If we don’t model this for our kids, no one will. We can embrace the truth about gender and sexuality in many cultures now.
    We need so many more children’s books!! Here’s a beautiful one by Canadian author Vivek Shraya that expands gender through their lens:

4. Educate toward truth/children’s books and adult resources.