This proposed NYC middle school will be ‘genderful.’ Here’s what that means.

This proposed NYC middle school will be ‘genderful.’ Here’s what that means.

For the past 10 years, I’ve been teaching math to middle school kids in New York City. My classes are filled with children, ages 10-14, concerned with their friends, their responsibilities, phones, and, if I’m lucky, pre-algebra. In that way, these students are the same as they were a decade ago. But in so many other ways, they are different.

The pandemic and social media have changed their realities in painful and pressing ways. Many kids are grieving, confronting new addictions, and feeling extremely anxious about the future.

On the flip side, though, I’ve seen a growing number of students find creative and joyful ways of being open and out about their gender. More of our children want to explore, learn about, challenge, change, or move inside and outside the bounds of masculinity and femininity. Many kids seem to get that with increased access to an evolving gender spectrum, more people can experience more joy. In the trans community, I’ve heard this idea described as “genderful.”

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