Professor, Blogger, Advocate and Speaker on Gender and Sexual Diversity

LEE AIRTON, PH.D.

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Dr. Lee Airton is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. As a researcher, blogger, advocate and speaker, Dr. Airton focuses on enabling individuals and institutions to welcome gender and sexual diversity in everyday life. In 2012, they founded They Is My Pronoun, a Q+A-based blog about gender-neutral pronoun usage and user support with over 30,000 unique visitors in 2017 alone. In recognition of their pronoun advocacy work, Dr. Airton received a 2017 Youth Role Model of the Year Award from the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Dr. Airton is also the founder of the No Big Deal Campaign, a national social media initiative that helps people show support for transgender peoples' right to have their pronouns used. In 2021, Dr. Airton and their research team launched Gegi, the first bilingual self-advocacy resource for K-12 students who are experiencing gender expression and gender identity discrimination at school. Dr. Airton's book Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture offers practical steps for welcoming gender diversity in all areas of everyday life. With Dr. Susan Woolley, they are the editor of Teaching About Gender Diversity: Teacher-Tested Lesson Plans for K-12 Classrooms. As a university-based teacher educator for over ten years, Dr. Airton has worked with hundreds of new teachers to widen the circle of belonging and participation for people of all genders and sexualities in schools. Dr. Airton's SSHRC-funded research program on gender diversity, human rights, policy, law, teaching, and learning has received 10 merit-based research grants since 2018 alone. Their research explores how the Ontario K-12 education system is responding to the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression protections in human rights legislation, and how to make the collection of gender-based data in large studies more reflective of how gender is read and negotiated. Dr. Airton also leads an action research project in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, collaborating with staff to remove barriers for transgender and/or gender non-conforming teacher candidates. Externally to Queen's, Dr. Airton supports school boards, independent schools, private sector and public sector organizations across Canada and internationally in building the capacity to offer a climate free from gender identity and gender expression discrimination of all kinds. Dr. Airton is a frequent speaker and media commentator, and has been interviewed over 60 times in nationally and internationally on topics related to their areas of expertise. Their scholarly publications have appeared in the journals Gender and Education, Sex Education, Curriculum Inquiry, Teachers College Record, the Canadian Journal of Education, and the Journal of Education Policy, and their editorials have been published in The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

 

(Photo: Bernard Clark)

This collection of classroom-ready lesson plans provides teachers with tools to fully integrate (not just add-and-stir) gender diversity into their curriculum, talk with students about gender diversities of all kinds, and foster classroom communities that are more welcoming of the many ways in which gender is lived, including but not limited to people who are under the transgender umbrella.

 

Sections target Elementary (K-5), Middle Years (6-9), and Secondary (10-12) classrooms with subject-specific lesson plans in mathematics, English language arts, social studies, drama, health and physical education, and science. From read-alouds with early literacy picture books to creating multi-modal gender fanzines, and from statistically modeling the rise of gender-neutral pronoun usage to analyzing gender characterization in dramatic monologues, Teaching about Gender Diversity will help you walk this road with over thirty educators who enfold our changing world of gender into their teaching.

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"This guide is unlike anything else available today, and an obvious and necessary item for collections of all kinds." Library Journal Starred Review

 

"I feel like Airton is both my smartest and best friend on this subject matter." Steven Petrow, The Washington Post

 

"I wish I had a copy of this book to give to every teacher, principal, counsellor, parent, partner, boss and co-worker of a trans, gender variant or non-binary person in the world." Ivan Coyote, Author of Tomboy Survival Guide and Gender Failure

 

The accessible, personable, and crystal clear guide to today's gender conversation. Click on the cover image to purchase the book, see what people are saying, and download free starting place discussion guides for implementing the book's tools and lessons where you are.

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Now in paperback