National Geographic caused quite the stir with the release of their January issue, featuring a young trans girl on its cover with the title “Gender Revolution.” The issue deals exclusively with how gender is perceived and is changing around the world, from stay-at-home dads in America to teenage girls in Sierra Leone, and nine-year-olds across four continents discussing how gender affects their lives.
As part of their exploration, Nat Geo partnered with Katie Couric for a special documentary airing tonight. Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric is an incredibly accessible intro to the concept of gender and the gender spectrum, as Couric travels across America to meet and learn from trans, intersex and gender nonconforming people from all walks of life. Think of it like your “Gender and Sexuality” class from freshman year of college condensed into a neat 90 minutes or so.
In a bonus clip from Gender Revolution, Couric shares the story of the Los Angeles Unified School District and how it presaged the Obama Administration’s directives in supporting transgender students by a decade.
“The L.A. Unified School District has had transgender affirming policies since 2005,” says Judy Chiasson, a spokesperson for LAUSD, which represents nearly 1,100 schools and over 640,000 students.
Transgender students of LA Unified are able to change their names and pronouns and access the facilities that match their gender identity. The policy has been in place for over 10 years and nothing has burned to the ground yet. So with the battle for bathroom rights being waged across the nation, L.A. Unified sets an example of how easy and simple it is to just let people be themselves.
Check out the clip below:
Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric airs tonight at 9/8c on National Geographic.