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Gendersaurus Rex

Teaching Equality

This morning I was sent a link to a heartening and useful story about Andrew Moffat, a primary school assistant headteacher in Birmingham whose “No Outsiders” policy and lesson plans are bringing the Equality Act to the centre of the school’s ethos and making a big difference. At Parkfield Community School, 23 different nationalities are represented, and the work of Moffat and the whole school ensures that diversity and difference is celebrated, not just in terms of race, religion and colour, but also for sexuality and gender identity.

‘We respect gay people and Islam’…The gay teacher transforming a Muslim school

While I’ve been working on this project, I’ve sensed a fear around what can be taught to or discussed with children in a school or theatre context as being opposed to what a child might learn at home. There’s a clear anxiety around whether we have the right to promote ideas that may counter those expressed by a child’s family. Will it be damaging or confusing to a child if we make a show that says it’s OK to be gay if the audience then goes home to a setting that is against homosexuality for example?

Continue reading “Teaching Equality”

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RIP David Bowie, and also…

Content Warning: rape, violence

Working on the project today with non-stop Bowie via 6Music. Very poignant memories for many people of experiencing his music, style, and sexuality helped them to feel that it was alright, indeed desirable to be different, queer, theatrical, glam and alien and to play with gender and society’s expectations. This impact speaks of the importance of queer visibility in the mainstream media as a way of giving young people examples of other ways of living your life – if you see it, you can be it. It must have been amazing to see him as Ziggy Stardust bursting into the mainstream on Top of the Pops in ’72.

And…since Bowie’s death I’ve become aware of his sexual experiences with underage groupies in the 1970s music scene in LA… Continue reading “RIP David Bowie, and also…”

New Year, New Phase

It’s 2016! Happy New Year!

Now the Gendersaurus Rex project is shifting into a new phase where I’m focusing on more practical approaches to exploring gender, queerness and sexuality within performance and art for children and young people. But it’s no easy task! I’ve been asked by a few people when they can come to see the “Gendersaurus Rex Show” and so far I’ve focused on more open-research rather than trying to make a show. Even though I see myself as a maker and know that I usually work through ideas by generating performance material, I’ve been finding the idea of making the work quite daunting.

Continue reading “New Year, New Phase”

Gender Stereotypes Survey

Scottish charity, Zero Tolerance, are looking for responses to their survey on gender stereotypes and young children. If you have children under 10, they’d like your thoughts to help them develop new resources to tackle inequality.

Here’s a link to the short survey:

http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/news/we-need-parents-views-gender

Continue reading “Gender Stereotypes Survey”

Travelling North

  
Gendersaurus Rex raced back up to Scotland on Saturday to be part of a great day event at Platform, called Gender Programming.

Judith Butler explained with cats

This is from a great blog I found that cleverly and helpfully goes to explaining one of Judith Butler’s best known and possibly most often misunderstood ideas around “gender performativity”. I found it very useful, especially as it casts the reader in the role of a confused kitteh speaking directly to Judith Butler herself!

JUDITH BUTLER EXPLAINED WITH CATS

From Binarythis.com

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Breakfast Club tomorrow

  
Looking forward to sharing some thoughts and ideas tomorrow at Imaginate’s new base, The Lyceum. 

I think there’s still a few spots available if you fancy – contact jennifer@imaginate.org.uk or follow through in this link

http://www.imaginate.org.uk/events/event/breakfast-club-gendersaurus-rex/?source=home

“The Age of Gendersaurus”

Andrew Eaton Lewis has written this article about gender as a current topic of interest, talking about some of the performance projects directly exploring it at the Fringe this year including the very moving and thought-provoking Jesus, Queen of Heaven, by the wonderful Jo Clifford.

What’s really interesting for me are the comments below the piece, some of which are pretty aggressive and clearly full of anger and fear at what is seen to be a new confusion with basic biology and a cry of “political correctness gone mad!”. I have to say I’m quite upset by some of the remarks, but relieved as well because they prove the need for a project like this, for more compassion, more understanding and more protection for people who are just trying to carve out a livable life for themselves in a world that doesn’t always allow or support that.

You can read the article and the comments here:

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2015/07/17/the-age-of-gendersaurus/

“Grown-ups are Groan-ups” – ugh

This is not a full post but I’ve been having a little think about how separate childhood and adulthood really are.

It’s in part inspired by a post from an amazing duo I saw performing a couple of weeks ago – Darkmatter – in their “It Gets Bitter” tour. See their post here and check them out :

Darkmatter on Facebook

It seems like we shy away from discussing sexuality and sex with children because we see something pure and innocent that we want to protect and preserve for as long as possible. There’s a sense that too much knowledge will catapult the child into the filthy, dodgy world of the adult with no way back… Continue reading ““Grown-ups are Groan-ups” – ugh”

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