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


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Queen's University


They Is My Pronoun


The No Big Deal Campaign


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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. 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 recognition of their 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's first book, from Adams Media (An Imprint of Simon & Schuster), is Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture which offers practical steps for welcoming gender diversity in all areas of everyday life. As a university-based teacher educator for over ten years, Dr. Airton has worked with hundreds of teacher candidates to widen the circle of belonging and participation for students of all genders and sexualities. Dr. Airton's current SSHRC-funded research explores how K-12 schools are responding to the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression protections in human rights legislation, including implications for teacher education. Dr. Airton's scholarly publications have appeared in the journals Gender and Education, Sex Education, Curriculum Inquiry, Teachers College Record, and the Journal of Education Policy, and their editorials have been published in The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. With Dr. Susan Woolley, they are also editing a forthcoming collection of lesson plans on gender diversity for K-12 teachers. (Photo: Bernard Clark)