17. You have ever been asked what
genitalia you have.
18. You have ever felt silenced.
19. You may have inadvertently
silenced someone else.
Debrief: How did people find the
activity? What did you notice?
This is the key educational activity.
It is recommended that you facilitate
this as a conversation and create a
visual resource as a group. Important
questions will arise that the group
can work through together. To begin,
draw four parallel lines on a large
poster or white board and label each
line: Biological Sex, Gender Identity,
Gender Expression, and Sexuality and
Attraction (as shown below).
Ask, “If this line represents a spectrum (e.g., biological sex) what are
either end of this spectrum (e.g., male
and female)? What is in the middle
These can be charted as spectrums
that go from one binary to another,
Unicorn as a visual resource.)
THE PROCESS OF ALLYSHIP
Has anyone heard of the Golden Rule?
(Treat others as you would like to
be treated). Has anyone heard of the
Platinum Rule? (Treat others as they
would like to be treated.)
1. You have ever felt misunderstood.
2. You have ever felt like you need to
hide part of your identity.
3. You have ever felt like you need to
hide part of someone else’s identity.
4. You feel safe walking alone at night.
5. You ever felt unsafe because of
your sexual orientation.
6. You were ever paid less or treated
less fairly because of your gender.
7. You can look in mainstream media
and see wide, fair representation of
people who look like you.
8. You were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of
your gender presentation.
9. You ever felt uncomfortable about a
joke regarding your gender but felt
unsafe confronting the situation.
10. You can show affection for your
romantic partner in public without
fear of ridicule or violence.
11. You can easily go to a store and try
on and buy clothes that you like
and that fit you.
12. You have ever felt as though members of your community were feared
or unwanted members of society.
13. You ever tried to change your
appearance, speech, or mannerisms
to gain more credibility.
14. You have ever had complicated
feelings about your gender.
15. You have had someone confront
your gender in a public washroom.
16. You have ever been asked the
question, “But what gender are you
Imagine a world where all people are
loved, accepted, and treated equitably
regardless of genders and sexualities.
Why is this important to explore as
individuals who work with all ages in
a spiritual setting?
Discuss the difference between
gender identity and sex. Talk about
how transphobia and cis-sexism are
practised, sometimes subtly with
non-verbal facial and physical expressions, humour, and hidden messages.
Consider what gender diversity is, and
imagine how your group will welcome
it in your faith communities.
Read Matthew 5: 13-16, The Message
translation. What does this passage
have to say about the discussion of
Discuss: Pronouns (she, her, hers /
he, him, his/ they, them, theirs / zi,
zir, zirs). What does it mean if you’ve
never thought about them?
Imagine you are someone who (a)
STEP INTO THE CIRCLE
uses pronouns that are gender-neutral/
non-binary (b) has transitioned and is
very excited to be using the pronouns
you go by (c) may not identify with the
pronouns connected with the gender
you were assigned at birth. How might
it feel if someone says, “Oh, call me
whatever pronouns. It doesn’t matter.”
Have each person share the follow-
ing introduction: name; pronouns you
use; learning goals for this workshop.
The goal is to gain awareness of invisible privilege in an effort to understand
how heteronormativity and cis-sexism
operate in daily life.
Explain that the group is going to
do an activity to explore some of the
experiences or identities people share,
and where there are differences. If
anyone feels uncomfortable stepping
forward, even if the statement is true,
they have the option to opt out.
Step into the circle if... (try a practice example: if you like chocolate.)
Biological Sex Spectrum
(anatomy, chromosomes, hormones)
(psychological sense of self)
male. . . . . . . . . . .trans, gender queer, non-binary. . . . . . . . . . . . female
(communication of gender through clothes, hair, body shape, etc.)
masculine .................androgynous ...................feminine
Sexuality and Attraction
(romantic, emotional, and/or sexual attraction)
heterosexual . . . . . bisexual, asexual, pansexual, queer . . . . . . homosexual