What is "gender expression"?

How a New and Nebulous Human Rights Construct Is Taking Shape in Ontario School Board Policy Documents

  • Lee Airton Queen's University
  • Kyle Kirkup University of Ottawa
  • Allison McMillan Queen's University
  • Jacob DesRochers Queen's University

Abstract

In 2002, jurisdictions across Canada began adding two new protected grounds to their human rights laws: gender identity and/or gender expression. Gender identity protections generally apply only to transgender people, whereas gender expression protections may apply to all Canadians in places like K–12 schools. However, it remains legally unclear what kind of action, utterance, or pattern constitutes gender expression discrimination, and who can access related protections. In search of clarification, this article explores how the meaning of gender expression is being constructed within policy documents (N = 206) authored at the level of Ontario’s English public secular school boards.

Keywords: gender expression, gender identity, transgender, education policy, education law, K–12, Ontario, Canada

Published
2020-01-02
How to Cite
Airton, L., Kirkup, K., McMillan, A., & DesRochers, J. (2020). What is "gender expression"? How a New and Nebulous Human Rights Construct Is Taking Shape in Ontario School Board Policy Documents. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 42(4), 1154-1182. Retrieved from https://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/4103