The ‘genderbread person’ helps children to understand the differences between gender and anatomy (Genderbread.org)
A high school has dropped an LGBT+ educational tool after a transphobic mother complained it was targeting “vulnerable children” like her own transgender son.
The school in Australia showed 15-year-old students an image of the ‘genderbread person‘, a well-known teaching resource used to demonstrate that anatomy doesn’t always determine gender.
The figure simply breaks down the differences between gender identity, gender expression and anatomical sex, allowing children to start a conversation and ask questions.
This angered one mother so much that she wrote to state and federal health ministers demanding that the teaching material be removed from the school’s current and future teaching.
The unnamed woman happens to be mother to a 19-year-old transgender son, whom she mistakenly refers to as her daughter.
She believes the school’s LGBT-inclusive approach is introducing “confusion” for children like her son, whose gender identity she attributes to depression.
“Gender and sex are being confused [in school] – it starts to introduce this confusion, especially with vulnerable young people like our [son],” she told The Australian.
“Some parents I’ve spoken to have said their children who are on the autism spectrum have been sucked into this [trans identity] – these are kids who are looking for somewhere to fit in. Other parents, their kids have had sexual abuse.”
The mother told the paper of her fury at her son being given hormone therapy to combat his gender dysphoria.
She reportedly raised the issue with MPs but had been “bounced around like a hot potato” before the school’s headteacher eventually agreed to remove the genderbread teaching material.
“In over a year of feeling like I have been beating my head into a brick wall, at last a sensible response,” she said.
Jack Whitney, Co-Convenor of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, told the Daily Mail Australia that cases such as this often arise “because a parent is apprehensive of what they don’t know or understand, and their immediate response is to remove their children.”
“However, we argue children have the right to an education that informs them of a world that is diverse and best prepares them to navigate the future,” he added.