Victor Joecks’ June 8 column was a demeaning dismissal of young people and the sex/gender diversity they assert and thinly masked a fear that the world isn’t what he wants it to be.
We who are awake to our sex/gender diversity are changing not just policy and curriculum in schools. Day to day, we are sharing gifts of liberation from the binary sex/gender system that violates us all. And just as young people are offering their mature, informed and inspiring leadership regarding guns in America, it is our youth who are leading us in growing beyond beliefs that cause all babies to be labeled “boy” or “girl.”
Unlike Mr. Joecks, we at Gender Justice Nevada listen to young people and families every week in the groups we share. What we have learned is that they can tell us who they are. (And isn’t that one of the foundations of our country, the freedom to be who we are?) As we listen further, we don’t hear them saying they want to be “the most royal, exalted, praised and admired one.” That may be Mr. Joecks’ particular fetish, but the young people we listen to talk about how to resolve conflict and how to be in healthy, nonviolent relationships with each other. They discuss what it’s like to grow up in families learning about the riches — and challenges — that honoring diversity offers. They tell us about the harm they endure at schools where adults have, for far too long, lacked the guidance and support that policy and regular training regarding sex/gender diversity will soon provide.
We at Gender Justice Nevada will continue to build on the statutory changes we have successfully advocated for with bipartisan support in the Legislature and governor’s mansion starting in 2011. Senate Bill 225 (passed in 2017) — and its requirement that all Nevada school districts implement policies addressing the actual diversity that students in our schools live and breathe every day — is just one of many public policy changes we have achieved together in support of a thriving and inclusive Silver State.
Mr. Joecks may not listen to young people, but we do. Their honesty and wisdom help guide us every day. And we are all better for the gifts they share.