Who is with me?
Image (c) Phil Wong. See more of his work here.
I hate it when people put me in a box.
Like when I was standing on the dusty streets of Ouagadougou in the scorching heat with an Italian friend explaining to her sister (in Italian) who I was. I heard her say, “Americana.”
Don’t do that.
Don’t put me in that box.
I have spent more of my adult life in Switzerland than the USA, so I don’t feel like “americana” completely represents me.
I hate it when people put me in boxes.
Like I did above, when I referred to my friend as “an Italian friend.”
(Were you going to let me get away with that?!)
Nationality is one of those boxes we like to put people in.
Gender is another.
It makes me think of the time at the TSA when the agent told me to cut my boy’s hair because it made him “Look like a girl.”
Or that time in Switzerland when I was riding the elevator with my neighbor who wanted to know if my child was a girl in boys’ clothes, or a boy with “girl hair.”
They wanted to tick inside a box.
Maybe you’re like me and have unknowingly asked others to do the same.
This week’s episode of Expat Happy Hour, Supporting Gender Expansive Kids with Dr Laura Anderson, asks us to move beyond boxes. A move that can be freeing at a minimum, or even life saving.
You will meet Dr. Laura S. Anderson, a clinical child and family psychologist who serves globally mobile families and has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families for twenty years. One of her many areas of expertise include support for gender expansive youth and their families.
Her personal story inspires veneration.
The steps she took as a parent in the face of a challenging and culturally complex situation are commendable.
In this episode, you will learn,
- What it means to be “gender expansive” and why it is so important that we know about it
- What the research says the risks are for children when we don’t give enough space for gender identity and expression
- The 3 things we can do to support a more inclusive community
- Dr. Anderson’s response to how gender is seen across cultures and its impact on individuals
- And more
Find out why Laura Anderson believes we as an international community are so well poised to get this right for our kids.
Listen now to Supporting Gender Expansive Kids with Dr Laura Anderson.
Here’s to creating community that puts people ahead of boxes.