Young children are being instructed about gender by “Gegi,” a virtual nonbinary unicorn, an educational tool that has been embraced by at least one school board in Ottawa and which heavily promotes left-wing “gender identity” activism.

As reported by CTV Ottawa in a wildly disturbing video segment earlier this month, Gegi was created by Lee Airton, an assistant professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education, and Kyle Kirkup, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.

Gegi is a virtual resource that empowers students to assert their rights and challenge norms in schools, the creators say. “Gegi brings together publicly available information like school board policies, definitions of grounds of human rights protection and translates them so that anyone can find them and understand them,” Airton says in the CTV interview. 

Gegi the unicorn is nonbinary, and “doesn’t exclusively identify as male or female, much like many of the students who find themselves visiting the site,” the outlet claims. You can see an image of Gegi here

Limestone District School Board equity and inclusion consultant Suche James says he believes the visual of the unicorn is effective for reaching elementary-aged children as young as Kindergarten. “James says he feels that the visual of the unicorn is something that can easily connect with people from Kindergarten to Grade 12, and that’s important they have the information,” CTV Ottawa explains.

The Gegi website teaches kids a variety of gender and advocacy related information, including what gender expression and identity are, and “tip sheets into what a student’s rights are during field trips and activities.” 

Until very recently in human history, having separate restrooms, sports teams, and sleeping quarters for boys and girls was the norm. However, according to Airton, “with these new human rights protections, [those] might actually constitute discrimination,” and children should be equiped with the knowledge to confront that “discrimination.” 

Here are some of the useful tips being imparted to young children by Airton and Kirkup via the Gegi website. Pertaining to restroom use:

  • In Canadian schools (and other public settings), everyone has the right to use the washroom that they know to be right for them.
  • No one may ask a transgender person (of any age) to use a washroom that does not align with their gender identity or to use an all-gender washroom (if not self-selected), as this is gender identity discrimination.
  • If another student objects, [the non-trans student] can be accommodated elsewhere.
  • Gegi recommends signage without men and women symbols, but with ‘all-gender washroom’ text and a toilet, instead.
  • Ensure that your school’s student-accessible all-gender washroom does NOT require a key. Requiring a key places students in the position of having to justify their need to access this washroom. This can place them at risk of being outed to/by staff, and potentially experiencing harm.

Here are some tips Gegi offers to children pertaining to field trips

  • In Canadian schools and their associated activities, every student has the right to access gender-segregated facilities or housing that they know to be right for them. 
  • No one may ask a transgender person (of any age) to stay in gender-segregated housing that does not align with their gender identity or to stay in a private room (if not self-selected), as this is gender identity discrimination.
  • Asking for a private room, or to share a room or be billeted along with a trusted friend or two (regardless of gender identity) can be what a trans student needs right now.
  • Costs associated with providing private or semi-private accommodations, if necessary, should not be borne by transgender students.

And pertaining to sports

  • Every student has the right to participate in athletics, and try out for a team or use a changeroom (etc.) that they know to be right for them, gender-wise. No one may ask a transgender student to try out for a team or join an intramural league that does not align with their gender identity, as this may be gender identity discrimination.”
  • Asking transgender students to provide legal or medical documentation in order to participate may also be gender identity discrimination.”
  • Because all Ontarians also have gender expression human rights protections, students who aren’t transgender but who are gender non-conforming also have the right to play without changing how they express their gender, or wearing a gendered uniform if it does not match their gender expression.

For teachers in the classroom: 

  • When you introduce yourself on the first day of school, or send home an email to introduce yourself to students, include your own pronouns (even and perhaps especially if no one has ever gotten them wrong).
  • Use gender inclusive language, like “students” instead of “boys” and “girls” or “ladies” and “gentleman.”
  • Practice using they/them pronouns. “If you have not already encountered a nonbinary student in your school, you will.”
  • Practice articulating that one of your legal responsibilities is mitigating gender-based discrimination in your classroom and school.
  • When speaking to students, make “hedging” statements about women, men, boys, and girls (e.g., “some women have breasts and a uterus”)
  • “Defend your gender diversity-affirmative practices” to parents who are “struggling” by “walking beside them.”

Like the genderbread person of yesteryear, the gender unicorn is extraordinarily popular with corporate diversity trainings and, increasingly, in early childhood education. However, despite prolific evidence of early childhood gender lessons posted to social media, most schools are less than forthright about their use of these tools, often omitting them from their official curriculum, only to be discovered by diligent parents. 

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