Gender Binary Activity
The objective of this activity is to help people understand that gender is not binary. It also aims to address some of the prejudices that transgender and non-binary people face. Transgender refers to people whose gender identity does not align with what they were assigned at birth. Non-binary refers to individuals whose gender identity does not align completely with being a man or a woman. For this activity, group members will read scenarios that ask them to take the perspective of either a transgender or a non-binary person. After reading and discussing the scenarios, group members should better understand the gender binary and the difficulties gender diverse people experience as a result of prejudice, discrimination, and lack of understanding.
This activity challenges students to take on diverse perspectives of people who are transgender and/or non-binary and creates rich discussion regarding the gender binary.
This activity works well with any group size. A larger group should be divided evenly into smaller groups of 5-7; each group should focus on one of the scenarios. This can be followed by a whole-group discussion. For a smaller group, everyone can discuss each scenario and the instructor can lead the discussion.
The class should be evenly divided into six groups. Each group is given one of the scenarios to read (see below); they then discuss the included questions. Groups work together for 10-15 minutes. Then, each groups summarizes their discussion for the whole group. Everyone can then consider the general discussion questions either in their small groups or in the larger group.