The Okemos Public School district’s sexual education curriculum teaches seventh graders to “differentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” and forces students to admit that people can choose their gender.
The school district adopted the “I am Who I am” lesson plan which was developed by Advocates for Youth, an equity-focused nonprofit that creates “LGBTQ-inclusive, trauma informed and culturally responsive” sex education curriculum. The lesson plan, which is available on the district’s website, gives educators a blueprint on how to teach students to “understand gender identity and sexual orientation.”
The lesson includes a “Myth vs. Fact: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” exercise in which students are asked if it is a myth or a fact that people can choose their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Although it is unclear if students receive grades for the quiz, the lesson also provides an answer key. The key forces students to accept that, “we don’t choose our feelings just like we don’t choose who we find attractive,” “a person doesn’t choose to feel male, female, or a combination of both,” and that “a person can choose to let people know their gender in whatever way feels comfortable or right to them.” The key also mentions that masculinity or femininity should not be confused with male or female, and that, “no one has the right to tell us how we do this is right or wrong, it just has to be right to us.”
The curriculum also boasts a “Who am I? Understanding Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” PowerPoint. The presentation claims that gender is “how we feel about having [our body parts and chromosomes]” and adds that someone who is born with a vulva is “usually called a ‘girl,'” while someone who is born with a penis is “usually called a ‘boy.'” The presentation accepts that sometimes, “how [people] feel on the inside doesn’t match their sexual body parts. Maybe they have a penis but do not feel they are male. The name for this is ‘transgender’ or just ‘trans.'”
Finally, the presentation asks students to consider “who you’re attracted to and/or could fall in love with without necessarily doing something sexual with another person” and lists numerous sexual orientations.