It’s Time to Take Action:
A New Blog Series
I write this on a Sunday morning. I’m sitting in Central Park, listening to Octavia Butler’s Parable of The Talents. It’s a beautiful day and Butler’s writing is always captivating, but I’m finding that my mind is wandering to the current experiences of kids in states like FL, TX, TN, and so many others. I’m thinking about my own experiences growing up and then teaching in FL and how grateful I am to be sitting in Central Park, able to devote my time fighting for queer, trans, BIPOC, and disabled kids and teachers.
I often wonder- If I had remained in FL, who would I be? I’m not sure, but I’d likely be keeping my head down as a queer educator, fighting for my life, and doing what I could for the kids, families, and colleagues that all of these harmful state laws are targeting. Knowing myself, I would likely feel overwhelmed, lonely, and depressed, but also mad as hell. I’d be mad at the system, politicians, and leaders (religious and secular) spouting their hate, for sure. But I’d also be mad at the people around me – my colleagues, friends, family – especially those who are content to throw up their hands and say this is awful but there’s nothing we can do. We CAN do something. We SHOULD do something. We cannot keep looking at injustice with indifference and lean into our lack of education about an issue as an excuse to ACT. So today I made a decision, I’m going to lean into my urge to educate and advocate and do just that.
Over the next several months, I’m planning to construct a series of blog posts to help us to better understand the issues that are currently being legislated re: queer and trans, BIPOC, and disabled youth. The goal of these posts will be not only to help educators understand these issues, but also understand how to TAKE ACTION by pinpointing some resources and ways educators can get involved. Some of these issues will include:
- What is CRT really?
- Why is it important to learn about the histories of trans, queer, disabled, and BIPOC individuals, especially those living at the intersections of these identities?
- Are elementary aged kids too young to learn about gender and sexuality?
- Is teaching about systemic racism the same as teaching White kids to feel guilty?
- What is the difference between sex and gender?
- What should I know about gender affirming care?
- What should I know about trans kids playing sports?
- What impact has the abandonment of pandemic precautions had on students, families, and teachers with disabilities?
- Are teachers indoctrinating children when they teach about systemic racism, oppression, sexuality and gender, and power and privilege?
I can’t promise how quickly I will get these posts out, but I think they are important. If you agree that these are important and you have the means to do so, I ask that you make a small donation to help sustain me to do this work. Writing takes time, time that is already spread too thin for obtaining work that will help me pay my bills. I feel weird even writing that, but I have done a lot of free labor over the years and continuing on that path just isn’t financially (or personally) sustainable, especially as an independent consultant. If you cannot contribute to these efforts monetarily, but believe this work to be important, I ask that you simply subscribe to my mailing list, so that you are notified when new blog posts have been published, and that you read those posts and TAKE ACTION within your own communities. Queer, trans, disabled, and BIPOC educators, students, and families are struggling. We are not OK. We need people that are willing to stand with us and fight.
If you’re an educator, parent, or person that identifies as queer or trans, disabled, or BIPOC and are living in a state most impacted by legislation targeting BIPOC, disabled, and/or queer or trans youth and you have resources (advocacy groups, action plans, guides, whatever) you’d like me to highlight in this series, please reach out to me directly with those resources. I also welcome offers to collaborate on any given post, should that be something you’re interested in. Your voices and the advocacy that’s happening in your states matter. You are beautiful and worthy and I hope we make it to a day that you are celebrated, protected, and loved.
Until I’m able to publish the first post of this series, I encourage you to read this article I stumbled upon this weekend, which has examples of heartwarming ways that cis people have shown support to their trans loved ones. https://www.bustle.com/politics/transgender-people-share-acts-of-allyship-twitter-cisgender.
Sending love and well wishes to you all.
The Queer Mathematics Teacher