“Open up your laptop, guys,” my advisor flinched with disgust the moment “guys” slipped out of her mouth. It was not until then that I realized that a phrase I have been casually using as a supposed simple greeting had deeper connotations.
As part of creating an environment where transgender and non-binary students feel safe in, seemingly small efforts such as initiating gender-inclusive language can go a long way.
With acknowledgement regarding the long process of obtaining an inclusive environment, careful consideration of linguistics is one way that a community can begin to change daily, perhaps unconscious, exclusionary actions towards the LGBTQ+ community.
It is also important to recognize that changing a life-long habit can be difficult; any attempts at changing ingrained forms of expression or communication is extremely hard at first. Eliminating vocabulary that has been present in our daily communication requires time, reminder and thought.
With efforts to increase inclusiveness regarding the LGBTQ+ community, Taipei American School faculty and staff attended training facilitated by legal experts in early February 2021.
Gender inclusivity starts with thoughtful consideration; sensitive thought towards inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community is only the beginning of creating a more inclusive environment.