"Gender Unicorns" that kids can color in to express their "gender identity" are now being distributed in schools across the country.
A transgender advocacy group is providing schools with the cartoon of a purple unicorn who appears to be thinking about the LGBT rainbow, causing outrage from parents. One district in North Carolina was met with protests after it used the "Gender Unicorn" in its faculty training.
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The group, Trans Student Educational Resources, says the Gender Unicorn is an upgrade from the "Genderbread Person," another cartoon graphic about gender identity targeting children.
The organization offers definitions for "gender identity," "gender expression/presentation," "sex assigned at birth," "sexually attracted to," and "romantically attracted to" on its informational page on the Gender Unicorn.
Gender identity is defined as "one’s internal sense of being male, female, neither of these, both, or another gender(s)."
"Everyone has a gender identity, including you," the group says. "For transgender people, their sex assigned at birth and their own internal sense of gender identity are not the same. Female, woman, and girl and male, man, and boy are also NOT necessarily linked to each other but are just six common gender identities."
The group also argues against using the term "sex," or biological status, because it is transphobic.
Sex assigned at birth is the "assignment and classification of people as male, female, intersex, or another sex based on a combination of anatomy, hormones, chromosomes," the group says. "It is important we don’t simply use ‘sex’ because of the vagueness of the definition of sex and its place in transphobia. Chromosomes are frequently used to determine sex from prenatal karyotyping (although not as often as genitalia). Chromosomes do not determine genitalia."
The graphic is available in coloring book form so kids can draw out their "gender expression" and show who they are sexually attracted to.
The group says the unicorn is preferable to the "Genderbread Person" made by "itspronouncedmetrosexual" because it "more accurately portray the distinction between gender, sex assigned at birth, and sexuality."
"We wanted to create a gender graphic that shows how queer and trans people view gender instead of one straight, cisgender man," the group says.
The Gender Unicorn is available in 11 languages, including Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Deutsch, German, French, Turkish, Hungarian, and Danish.
Trans Student Educational Resources is a "youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment."
Aside from the unicorn, the group also offers a guide to pronouns that includes "she, he, they, and ze, zir, hir, hirs, zirs, hirself, and zirself."
"Please note that these are not the only pronouns," the group says. "There are an infinite number of pronouns as new ones emerge in our language."
The Gender Unicorn has popped up in at least one school district in Charlotte, N.C.
One parent of two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students decried the cartoon as "slick marketing."
"It is friendly looking and deceitful because that unicorn, to me, represents the religion of sex," Donica Hudson told WCNC-TV, a local NBC affiliate. "It is silencing and penalizing those of us who believe we were created male and female and should be able to use those terms."
The school district, which serves 141,000 kids aged prekindergarten through 12th grade, said the cartoon is "used nationally."
"The Gender Unicorn is a tool used nationally to help explain gender identity terminology. It was used during the principal training session for that purpose only," the district said. "Our goal remains providing a safe and welcoming school environment where every student can succeed academically and socially."