In recent years, resistance to the cultural, political, and legal barriers facing trans people has gained greater attention. As trans resistance grows, we will increasingly see trans people making demands for access to education. In this two-part essay, I offer tips for addressing obstacles to trans students’ classroom participation and for avoiding unintentional exclusionary practices. In the first part, I suggest guidelines for referring to students by their preferred names and pronouns. In the second, I address people who talk about bodies, within and outside classrooms, suggesting ways to avoid implying that gender is defined by body parts.
By Dean Spade, 2011