Gender diversity, medical transitioning, testosterone, gender dysphoria are some of the topics that a new book ‘Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity?’ talks about.
A book which aims to teach kids as young as seven about gender diversity is set to be made part of the school syllabus in the UK, later this month. The United Kingdom’s Department for Education’s decision to let some primary schools distribute the book to its students has already sparked controversies.
The book — written by LGBT activist CJ Atkinson — is narrated using a protagonist by the name Kit who was born a girl but identifies herself as a boy. The book opens with Kit talking to the reader.
“My name is Kit and I’m 12 years old. I live in a house with my mum and dad, and our dog, Pickle. When I was born, the doctors told my mum and dad that they had a baby girl, and so for the first few years of my life that’s how my parents raised me. This is called being assigned female at birth. I wasn’t ever very happy that way.”
Atkinson, a published poet and a first-time author, touched upon topics she felt children should know to understand gender diversity. She said in an interview with The Guardian, “The world is changing. A book like this is needed. People want to help. They want to know. They want to have conversations, but they don’t know how. A lot of the time it is not being dealt with or talked about in schools.”
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The book uses the character Kit to talk to readers about the changes he goes through. He tells the readers about how he identified his gender as a boy even though his assigned gender was a girl. “I have a different gender identity than I was assigned at birth. Another name for this is called being transgender.”
Atkinson’s book breaks down the topics and aims at making children question gender diversity. She wants to start a discussion in classrooms and at homes about gender diversity.
Talking about the controversy around the yet-to-be published book, the first time author told The Guardian, “Writing the book, I had joked about the fact that I knew there would be some people who would not read it but would still have a lot to say about it. I’m not naive.”