Professional Development and Training FAQs
Gender Spectrum has worked with hundreds of professional organizations, schools, school districts, businesses, government agencies and other groups across the United States and beyond. Our trainings are tailored for your needs. We offer professional development and trainings for any group that is looking to learn more about gender.

Learn More and Request a Training

We host regular teleconference information sessions where you can learn more about our professional development services. These Training Q&A calls give us a chance to share information about our work and give you a chance to ask questions related to your specific needs. Click below to get the schedule and join a call!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does my group need training even if we do not have any transgender children, youth or adults in the community?

Everyone is affected by gender and gender stereotypes. All children need gender aware and inclusive environments: to most effectively learn and participate, to feel safe and seen by those around them and to develop into their true, authentic selves. In addition, while you may not be aware of any transgender or non-binary people in your school or community, it is most likely that there are many who do not identify on the gender binary.

Gender understandings are evolving rapidly. You may be surprised to find that many of the young people in your community are well ahead of the adults around them in their understandings about gender, and that your community is more gender-diverse than you think.

Will my group need to travel to attend a training?

No. Most of our professional development is facilitated via engaging, live, online trainings. One advantage of this format is that groups can do the training all together, even if you have staff in multiple locations -- or separately, while still being able to interact with colleagues via our teleconference platform.

Participants can join by video call or by phone, and workshops are interactive with discussions, group exercises, Q&A and other activities. Another advantage is that we are able to record the training for you to use later. Depending on the size of the group and the nature of the training (e.g., if there’s opportunity for ongoing work) we do, in limited cases, offer in-person trainings. Whether a training is online or in-person, we ensure that your group gets what you need to successfully implement the best practices for gender inclusion at your organization.

What size groups do you offer trainings for? (do I need a minimum number of people, is there a maximum?)

Trainings can be done with any size group - there is no minimum or maximum number of participants. For very large audiences, we will want to work with you to strategize how best to facilitate the small group discussions and Q&A portions of the training.

Are there levels of trainings for more or less experienced groups?

Yes! Almost all of our professional development work begins with our Foundations of Gender introduction. Beyond that initial training, Gender Spectrum’s various levels of training and support are designed to meet the needs of any institution interested in becoming more welcoming of all children and youth with respect to gender expression and identity. Our experience has shown that there are three distinct developmental stages that groups move through on their way to becoming truly gender-inclusive.

  • Gender Literacy: The first is about urgency and perspective: most professionals have had little or no training about gender. Thus, the first step on the road to greater acceptance is awareness about basic terminology and fundamental notions of gender and their impact on youth. Also critical is the opportunity to consider one’s own experiences and ideas about gender
  • Application: Second is an explicit focus on the various practices that lead to more inclusive conditions. For any professional, there are specific ways in which to either support more gender acceptance or to inhibit it. Even some of the smallest adjustments can have a profound impact.
  • Institutional Practice: The third stage is the institutional consolidation of these approaches. By working to systematically imbed greater awareness and gender-inclusive practices, organizations at this stage demonstrate an integrated approach in which the whole is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Our professional development programs are designed with this developmental lens in mind. Featuring a wide variety of resources and methods, our trainings can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization. Components of each include training, advice, and resources for making the creation of a gender-inclusion an achievable goal.

Can I learn how to become a trainer and take this work back to my group?

Yes. Educators in our “Foundations of Gender-Inclusive Schools” pathway can follow up with a training-of-trainers that equips you to facilitate Dimensions of Gender trainings with others. You can also go deeper as a trainer through our Inclusive Schools Network pathway. Both pathways are described in detail on our Professional Development for Educators page. We also periodically hold trainings-of-trainers for professionals from fields other than education.

How much would a training for my group cost?

Fees are discussed on our Q&A calls. Note that we offer sliding scale rates to address your situation; we are committed to overcoming any financial barriers to your participation in this important and necessary work and have never refused a training due to costs. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information. 

How do I know if this training will work for everyone in my community?

One of the core principles of our work is to meet people where they are in this work. We have no agenda in our training, other than to give you the most up-to-date information, ask you to consider the implications for the work you do, and to introduce practices that have worked for hundreds of other organizations.

Our framework that recognizes gender as an area that impacts all youth further connects with adults committed to young people’s ultimate health and well-being. We also recognize that gender is truly intersectional, influenced by (and influencing) many aspects of who we are. How you apply this work in your own context is up to you.

Our organization and community is very diverse -- do your trainings account for people coming from diverse backgrounds?

Yes, we honor the diversity of your community and pay particular attention to the specific needs of racial, ethnic and cultural communities. A guiding principle of our work is that gender is but one identity that intersects in all of us with our other identities, including racial, ethnic, faith-based, and any of our many other identities.

A young person’s sense of gender congruence is closely related to the ways in which various forms of identity interact with their gender. Considering this complex relationship helps prepare us to effectively apply the lens of gender to the environments and contexts we live in.

Can my organization work with Gender Spectrum privately, without any publicity?

Yes. We recognize that organizations are often approaching this work with a need for sensitivity and privacy. The schools and other organizations with whom we partner are our clients; we work on your behalf in your efforts to become more gender inclusive. All of our work with your group can be done confidentially, at your request.

Can my organization join with another organization to work with Gender Spectrum? 

Yes, we can provide training for organizations that want a combined session. If another group has contacted us about scheduling at the same time, we may suggest a combined training, if that is amenable to both groups, as it can often help each group to get the others’ perspectives on the issues.

We do not have our own video conference rooms -- what technology do we need for an online training? 

The set-up for the live online trainings is quite simple. If meeting as a group, the space needs only a screen, projector and speakers. In our experience most classrooms or organizational meeting spaces can accommodate a training.

We’d like to consult with you about a specific situation we’re facing. Is that something you offer?

After your group has completed an initial Gender Spectrum training, we can provide consultations when new situations arise. It is important that our consultation services follow a training so that we can be sure that we are building on a strong foundation of gender knowledge and practices.

What is the Professionals’ Symposium?

The Gender Spectrum Professionals Symposium is an event designed for professionals who serve transgender, non-binary, and otherwise gender-expansive youth and/or their families. Participants engage in programming and acquire resources designed to build their capacity to support families and young people around issues of gender. Learn more about the Symposium below.

Learn More

Are you available to present at an event/workshop/conference we’re hosting?

Possibly. Please fill out the Training Q&A Call or Speaker Request form and we will get back to you with information.

Do you offer trainings for parents or youth?

We do not offer trainings for parents or youth, choosing instead to focus on professional development for educators and other youth-serving professionals. Over the years, we have found that it is more effective to build the capacity of the organization itself to facilitate trainings about gender diversity with its own community members.

We've chosen this strategy because 

  • we want to position you as the experts on how gender diversity issues are being handled locally
  • you know your own context better than we do
  • when you have to make meaning and present the material, it is internalized more effectively 

We are ready to go! How do we go about securing a date for a training?

If you are ready to schedule a training, please contact us at [email protected]. Or, if you would like more information, we host regular teleconference information sessions where you can learn more about our professional development services. These Training Q&A calls give us a chance to share information about our work and give you a chance to ask questions related to your specific needs. Click below to get the schedule and join a call!