As Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice necessarily move into the foreground for international schools across the world, so is schools’ appetite for quality resources growing exponentially. One of the challenges for school leaders, a group within which many of the protected characteristics of theEqualityAct (2010) are woefully underrepresented, is learning what the world looks and sounds like through the lived experience of the oppressed or the marginalised.For we all know that ignorance breeds prejudice, and there are few characteristics about which the majority know so little than that of gender identity.
Therefore, there is much to celebrate in the launch of potent, new podcast, “Jack and Me,” by Matthew Savage, architect of #themonalisaeffect and proud member of the #deij team at ECIS. This is a powerful and frank window into what it is like to be trans and, simultaneously, a student within the international schools sector. “Jack and Me” is billed as a candid podcast conversation between father and son, about gender, sexuality and a world beyond both, and about the power of unconditional love. In these conversations, Jack speaks with bravery and honesty about transitioning, and how the adult world can support or hinder that process; he also provides an invaluable insight into what gender and sexuality mean to so many of his generation, and how adults typically have a lot of catching up to do.
“Jack and Me” is available now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, but please use his words carefully, sensitively and with respect – and to the benefit of all the LGBTQ+ students in your own schools. Jack has fought long and hard finally now to have the privilege to decide what he shares and with whom, and it is so important that this podcast neither dilute nor detract from that agency in his own, private life. This is essential listening for any educator wanting to make their school more transinclusive, any parent whose child is questioning their gender identity, and anyone else actively participating in the global pursuit of #deij. It also, ultimately, offers a message of hope, at a time when this seems to be in short supply.