Gender identity refers to a spectrum of socially constructed expressions, roles, and behaviors. Common examples of gender identities include male, female, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, agender, and two-spirit identities. Why does it matter? Our gender identity defines how we see ourselves, how we see each other, and how we want to be seen. It’s deeply tied to our dignity as human beings. As an ever-evolving concept, there is much to learn and explore. We have compiled a list of five online courses that explore gender identity and closely related concepts.
#1 Queering Identities: LGBTQ+ Sexuality and Gender Identity
Offered by the University of Colorado, this course explores the history, challenges, and activism of LGBTQ+ communities. The course is taught by Jacob McWilliams, Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center, and by Katie Mohrman, Assistant professor of Ethnic Studies. After clarifying key concepts and essential terminology of gender identity, the course briefly discusses intersectional issues. In the third week, you’ll learn about gender expression, gender resistance, and gender transition. The final two weeks are dedicated to Queer theory and tackle specific issues such as queer parenting, racism in queer communities, and queer sex education in more depth. Overall this course is an excellent fit for everyone who seeks a well-rounded introduction to the topic. The course includes a variety of video lectures, readings as well as graded assignments. All graded assignments are multiple-choice quizzes. On average the self-paced course takes 20 hours to complete. At the time of writing, learners rated the course with 4.8 stars out of 5.
#2 Queering the Schoolhouse: LGBTQ+ Inclusion for Educators
Offered by University of Colorado, Queering the Schoolhouse is a course for educators. The main purpose of the course is to learn about building more inclusive communities. You will explore a variety of key concepts and techniques to foster LGBTQ+ inclusion and be challenged to apply them to your classroom or professional context. The first three weeks of the course focus on Allyship, Advocacy, and LGBTQ+ experiences in schools. One activity that stands out is the LGBTQ+ toolbox. Learners are encouraged to develop their own toolbox to talk and act in support of the LGBTQ+ community. At the center of the toolbox is to learn about the lives and realities of LGBTQ+ people, and to reflect on your own privilege and behaviors. Beyond that, dedicated videos provide a variety of suggestions and ideas about what could be inside your toolbox. In week 4 of the course, you will explore five contemporary strategies of LGBTQ+ inclusion in more detail. The fifth week is dedicated to curriculum development, refinement, and evaluation. It includes relevant case studies and examples of social action. Rated 4.8 out of 5, this course is a great choice for educators and students. All members of schoolhouse communities will benefit from it. The entire course takes 12 hours to complete.
#3 Gender and Sexuality: Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Diversity and inclusion is more than an asset. It is essential for human rights organizations and companies alike. This course offered by the University of Pittsburgh is an excellent introduction to gender identity, diversity and inclusion in professional settings. After clarifying essential terminology around gender and sexuality, the course provides an introduction to challenges LGBTQ+ people are facing in the workplace. Contrary to the previous two courses, this course contains a variety of optional discussion prompts enabling learners to discuss critical issues or take their questions to the community. In week 2 and 3 of the course you will learn specifically about sex, gender and workplace discrimination and the strategies to create more inclusive workplaces. Highlighting the importance of intersectionality and critically assessing specific issues such as gender stereotyping, workplace silencing and workplace disclosure, the course will benefit beginners as well as advanced learners. The entire last week is dedicated to transgender topics and explores how to be an ally to transgender colleagues at work. The entire course takes 16 hours to complete.
#4 Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Offered by the ESSEC Business School, this course focuses specifically on how to leverage diversity to improve workplace performance and innovation. It starts by outlining the importance of diversity and inclusion for firms and delves into key concepts of diversity, including cultural, social, gender, intergenerational and abilities diversity. After you have developed a foundational understanding of diversity and inclusion concepts, the second week of the course is focused on diversity perceptions. In this part of the course you will acquire skills and conceptual tools to analyze your own reactions in interactions in the workplace. The third week of the course is dedicated to the disrupting force of diversity and exploring why diversity can be utilized to improve performance and innovation. In the last week of the course you are encouraged to identify best practices for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. After completing this week you will also be able to assess and evaluate an organizations inclusion policies. The course takes 10 hours to complete.
#5 Health Across the Gender Spectrum
This course offered by Stanford University follows the intimate stories of six transgender families and their children. Members of the Stanford faculty including physicians, K-12 educators and transgender faculty members discuss these stories and provide practical tips for families, parents, healthcare providers and anyone who aims to foster a more gender-inclusive environment. The course suggests concrete steps to create a more gender-inclusive society. Please note that the providers of this course have chosen not to offer certificates due to the sensitive nature of the topic. The entire course takes approximately 8 hours to complete.