Penny Lane Centers proudly presents EDGY (Embracing the Diversity of GLBTQ Youth and families), a one day conference to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best prac¬tices as well as gather resources from leading experts and organizations to create a more supportive environment for LGBTQ+ youth and families.
Understandings of gender continually evolve. In the course of a person’s life the interests, activities, clothing, and professions that are considered the domain of one gender or another evolve in ways both small and large. This has perhaps never been truer than it is now. The data shows that today’s young people have significantly different understandings of gender than previous generations, with consequences for all children, families, organizations and institutions.
All of us are inundated with gender messages from the time we are born yet we offer children few opportunities to more deeply consider or understand this fundamentally important aspect of life. Basic gender literacy is essential for children to understand their own gender, engage in healthy relationships, identify and place media and social messages in context, and have agency in determining aspects of their gender now and in the future. Societal ideas about gender will affect every critical aspect of their lives, from education to career, finances, relationships and more.
People tend to use the terms “sex” and “gender” interchangeably. But, while connected, the two terms are not equivalent. Generally, we assign a newborn’s sex as either male or female based on the baby’s genitals. Once the sex is assigned, we presume the child’s gender. For some people, this is cause for little, if any, concern because their gender aligns with gender-related ideas and assumptions associated with their sex. Nevertheless, while gender may begin with the assignment of our sex, it doesn’t end there. A person’s gender is the complex interrelationship between three dimensions: body, identity and social. EDGY 2020 will focus around the topic of these different dimensions of gender and how they impact the LGBTQ youth we work with in our line of work.