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A scene from the documentary “Creating Gender Inclusive Schools” from the Youth and Gender Media Project and focused on Peralta Elementary in Oakland.

A new short film demonstrates the power of open and honest conversations about gender — at the elementary school level. “Creating Gender Inclusive Schools” follows what happened when Peralta Elementary School in Oakland brought in staff from nonprofit Gender Spectrum to provide training for teachers and administrators, as well as age-appropriate curriculum for students.

A week of classroom activities helped students learn about gender, stereotyping and bullying, and parents were also included in the discussions. The film shows that it’s not only possible, but downright fun, to train an entire elementary school community to be inclusive of transgender and gender expansive youth.

“Creating Gender Inclusive Schools” is one of four short films from the Youth and Gender Media Project, founded by filmmaker and media activist Jonathan Skurnik. They are being screened at venues including schools, colleges and hospitals, and are available as DVDs for sliding-scale purchase. Each of the films, which address various aspects of youth and gender, has a full-color 16-to-20-page study guide and curriculum. To learn more, see