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A2Z – Expression

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Expression

 

Okay…  today I’m going to again share my gingerbread cookie drawing.  The one I did to accompany my session at Breaking the Silence.  I think it explains the basics of Expression, Gender, Assigned Sex, Sex, Sexual Desire, and Affection rather well.  After all, that’s the entire reason I created it.

the ginderbread illustration by Tobi-Dawne Smith

So…  at it’s most basic?  Expression is “all this” – and if you could see me you’d see me waving my hands and fingers over my entire body from my head to my toes and everywhere in between.  It doesn’t exactly translate the same way to a blog post as it does when I do it in person.  😉  Your outward expression of gender doesn’t have to match your assigned sex, your actual sex, or any particular gender.  It just just how you feel like presenting yourself at any given time – and there is no wrong way to express yourself.

I have to be honest.  I’m kinda glad we’re on “E” with this challenge.  Sure, my blog posts have been really fast and easy to write since the challenge started.  I find this type of thing really easy to talk about.  It helps that I talk about it with such a range of people on a day to day basis.  From toddlers to teachers, I talk about orientation a lot and in a lot of different ways.  So writing about it comes fast and easy.  But I miss the challenge that comes from writing about myself and following the whim of my muse.

It really is a far greater challenge to share about important parts of my day, and how those things led to moments of self discovery or laughter.  Sure, it means I end up with the occasional “sorry for being so boring today” post.  But generally, it’s a very satisfying part of my day.  It allows me time to put everything into perspective.  It is time for me to reflect on the days joy or frustrations.

Expression.

That’s really what this blog is all about.  It’s about my expression of self.  What I feel, who I am, what’s important to me on any given day.  And this challenge, to a degree, has robbed me of that.  It’s a good thing this is such an important topic or I’d be likely to scrap the whole darn thing at this point.  😉

Expression.

It is an exceedingly important part of who we are.  Without it?  (get ready for the exceptionally geeky reference dead ahead)  We might as well be assimilated by the Borg.  Taken into the collective, sharing a mind…

Expression.

It’s easy to think of it as the least of the parts that makes up our orientation, but when it is robbed from you?  It’s easy to see it as potentially the most important.  Without it, we are but shades of ourselves…  lost, and without the will to communicate.

So value your ability to express yourself, through the way you look, the things you do, how you interact with others…  Express yourself freely and without regret.  BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE!  Be the very best you, you know how to be, and inspire others to do the same.

 

banner for the a to z challenge

Teaching about Sex and Gender in the Classroom

Shortly I’ll be presenting at a few high schools as well as at Breaking the Silence.  I’ll be talking about sex, gender, identity and the labels that can help or hinder us as we discover ourselves and how we fit on the spectrum.  I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll be covering, but I really would love to hear from you on the subject.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the gingerbread man diagrams that have been floating around the net for the last couple of years.  There have been several different incarnations of the drawing, and I’ll be creating my own for my presentations too.  Basically it just maps out the differences between sex, gender, expression, and orientation.  By having this type of illustration handy I hope to equip everyone who is there with the proper language – as that will go a long way to facilitate discussion.

What I’d like to know from anyone who’d be kind enough to reply is this:

If you were, or are, a high school student what would you like to know but might be afraid to ask in a classroom setting?  What would you want to know about sex?  about gender?  about gender expression?  about sexual orientation?  Is there something you wish you knew?  Is there something you do know that you wish others knew?  What would you want discussed that you might be to embarrassed to bring up with a room full of people watching?

I want to ensure that those who need the information, get it.  But if I don’t know what questions people have, I may miss something important.  This is basic information that schools haven’t often given students a chance to learn – information that people often have to discover on their own – feeling alone and insecure.  I want to arm youth with the power that comes with knowledge, and knowing that no matter where we fall on the spectrum, that we’re all totally normal with the potential to be awesome!

gingy from shrek

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