I am genderfluid and also possibly going into education! This past year I volunteered in a preschool classroom (private school, group of kids ages 4-5), and the head teacher and director of the school both knew that I was transgender and nonbinary, and both of them were super accepting. The kids had questions about my gender occasionally (for example when I cut my hair very short because they thought I was a girl). For the most part, my gender was not brought up in the classroom at all, and it definitely wasn’t an issue for anyone in this class, including the parents of the students.
[This is just my experience and other folks in different classrooms / communities have widely varied experiences.]
I also know two trans men who are teachers in public schools who are out to their students and school communities as transgender (though they are both binary / present very masculine).
So it definitely is possible to have a job as an educator while being trans.
There are laws in some areas that don’t allow employers to discriminate on the basis of gender identity, but not in all places.
Lambda Legal has information about laws in the USA.
Also you might want to look through our employment tag, which has more information about finding LGBT+ friendly employers, etc.
I honestly do think there’s a chance that a transphobic parent will pull their kid out of your class sometime during your teaching career. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up on the career- it’s just something to brace for.
As for examples of people doing this, if you remember 2016′s news cycle, you may have heard of Leo Soell who is an elementary school teacher too I believe, and who won a lawsuit that involved having their colleagues call them by their pronouns.
I’m sure you heard of Chloe Bressack who was an elementary school teacher when they came out as non-binary in 2017 and told their students to call them by they/them pronouns. There was a big parent backlash, the media repeatedly misgendered them, and they were transferred out of the classroom to an adult basic education program so they couldn’t influence children.
The article Ms., Mr. or Mx.? Nonbinary teachers embrace gender-neutral honorific interviews 4 non-binary teachers, and you may find that interesting as well, and these short interviews in the Transgender Teachers: In Their Own Voices article.
In 2018, More Than Half Of Transgender Teachers Surveyed Told NPR They Are Harassed At Work. It seems like their colleagues and school administrators are the main issue, followed by student’s parents. The students tend to be more accepting but they aren’t the ones deciding if you get to keep the job or not. It also obviously seems to be easier for stealth or passing trans people than for out non-binary people.
I also have seen the Tumblr blog @blkteacher212, and I believe they’re a non-binary teacher.
Followers, any personal experiences with early education while being out as NB?
sounds-of-stormy-nights said: At my school there’s a teacher who is more or less openly nb, but she presents relatively feminine and is also addressed as “Mrs”.
mrring99 said: Hi I’m in the uk. There are few barriers for trans / nb in the uk education field. However the older the age group you teach the more tricky nb will get. Largely due to the fact that in most schools teaching the 12-16 age group the kids are required to address the staff by sir or miss or mr ….. or miss/mrs……. so I think that is likely to be the only major hurdle you will need to square in your own mind. I wish you all the best. Fred. Xx