The so-called “gender unicorn” is raising concerns and sparking anger across more states as teachers involved in sex education adopt the mythical character, which was created by transgender activists to teach children as young as age five about sex and gender identity.
Its creators call the gender unicorn an upgrade to the “genderbread person,” by replacing the man with a sexually ambiguous mythical creature. In addition to a host of semantic issues, the gender unicorn’s creators state that the male and female binary in biology is “a European construct.” The organization that created it says it is “dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment.”
Writing for the Oregonian, Elizabeth Hovde says that elementary and middle-schoolers in her school district’s health curriculum haven’t been subjected to learning about the gender unicorn by the schools themselves, but some of their teachers have been more than eager to adopt the mythical character as an educational reference.
This is somewhat in contrast to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in Charlotte, N.C., which adopted the transgenderism-promoting training materials in late 2016. In Alberta, Canada, the top teacher’s union fully embraced the gender unicorn as part of their kit on sex education.
Hovde says that the Oregon Department of Education allows teachers “some leeway” on the use of supplemental materials, so long as they line up with teaching standards—a fact that might bring the use of the gender unicorn into question given its subject matter. The columnist says that unless school boards make it mandatory for teachers to show parents what their kids are learning, they will have little say in what their kids are taught.
“Some parents have given up that role; but some of us haven’t. I want to be at least as involved in the gender-and-sexual-identity discussion with my kid as a purple unicorn,” she writes.
Students who learn from the unicorn are taught the supposed differences between gender identity, gender expression, and declare their sex “assigned at birth” rather than innate qualities determined by physiology and biological characteristics.
Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter.