When is it OK for an actor to play gender confusion for laughs?
How does an actor portray a different gender identity from their own, respectfully?
Can we portray historical gender roles even if we are trying to break down those stereotypes today?
These were some of the questions eighth graders had for Dr. Jennifer Bryan this morning.
Author and educator Dr. Jennifer Bryan is on campus today for a day-long consultation on gender identity development. It's a rich topic at a school that spans ages three to fourteen, and Dr. Bryan has been working with Gordon on it since 2009.
Her first meeting of the day was with eighth graders leading the fall plays. Gender switching and gender stereotyping are central to both plays this fall The students wanted to meet with Dr. Bryan to talk through some questions that have come up in rehearsal.
Dr. Bryan has spent the rest of her day meeting with faculty and students, including Gordon's athletics director, the director of health and wellness, the school psychologist, the admissions team, and the Middle School Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
She's also meeting with second grade; they've read her book on identity and difference, The Different Dragon, as part of their yearlong study of picture books, and they're eager to meet the author!
Her day will end with a presentation to the full faculty and staff, and a dialogue open to all Gordon parents at 6:30pm. More on that at www.gordonschool.org/jbryan