Photo credit: Department of Education

School exercise advises teaching students about “drag queens”

An official document created by the HSE and the Department of Education has recommended that Junior Cycle students should be taught about “drag queens” and “cross dressers,” Gript can reveal.

The document, entitled Relationships and Sexuality Education 1, is aimed at teachers, and includes a series of classroom exercises for students regarding RSE classes.

Under the heading of “Gender and Gender Identity,” the document explains that “In this activity, students learn that while everyone has a gender identity, for some people this might be different than the gender they were assigned at birth.” It then includes a glossary of terms, including “cis-gender,” “transgender,” and “non-binary.”

The HSE text defines a “non-binary” person as someone who feels “that they are neither gender, both genders, or somewhere along a continuum.”

“Non-binary people usually prefer to be called ‘they’,” the text says.

To help students understand this topic, a cartoon video is provided about a child called Alex who “doesn’t define themselves as a boy or a girl.” This video includes an explanation of the term “genderqueer” and “genderfluid.”

The HSE text then goes on to explain that teachers can use the subject of gender as an opportunity to discuss “drag queens” and “cross dressers” in the classroom.

“Teacher’s note: When discussing gender, the terms ‘Drag queen’ and ‘Cross dresser’ may be mentioned,” the document reads.

“‘Drag queen’ refers to a person who assumes a female persona for performance. ‘Cross- dresser’ refers to a cisgender person who dresses in clothing typically worn by members of a
different sex.”

The RSE document further discusses terms such as “bisexual,” “pansexual,” “asexual,” “heternormative” and more. In addition to this, in an effort to be more “inclusive,” teachers are told to encourage students to stop using words like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” so as not to “assume a person’s gender.”

“To further create an inclusive classroom environment, students can be encouraged to refer to
‘partners’ rather than ‘boyfriends’ or ‘girlfriends’ during discussions rather than assume a person’s
gender or sexual orientation,” the text says.

“If someone in the class makes it known that they would prefer an alternative pronoun to their assumed pronoun, it would be respectful to honour that wish.”

It later adds: “Giving students the opportunity to discuss gender identity and sexual orientation at the outset of their RSE classes encourages an inclusive classroom environment where a cisgender identity and heterosexuality are not assumed when discussing relationships.”

This document has been promoted by the HSE and Department of Education since at least 2021, and is the latest in a long string of sex education content promoted in Irish schools, as covered previously by Gript.

Irish curriculum advises teaching babies they can be transgender

Irish primary teachers discouraged from saying “boys & girls”

This publication previously asked Education Minister Norma Foley about some of the more controversial materials being taught in Irish schools, a clip of which can be viewed below.


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