Sometimes stories are destroyed, and sometimes they are never uttered in the first place; either way something very large is irrevocably missing from our collective histories. – Carmen Maria Machado, In the Dream House
Some stories remain unspoken, shrouded in layers of silence. And the stories we do hear about gender are often limiting and prescriptive. They contribute to the development of ‘problems’ in our lives. We’re born into these stories, but what would become possible if we gave ourselves the chance to write our own?
The Gender Journal invites people to move between different discursive possibilities with regard to gender. This journal can be used by young people with disabilities (and everyone else) to understand and unpack the discourses they hold about gender, as well as begin to explore and write preferred stories about their own identities.
It can be used as a ‘scaffold’ for conversations with young people, by mental health professionals, teachers and other professionals working with young people.
Feel free to print it out and engage with it however you feel comfortable – whether that means writing, painting, cutting-and-pasting or digitally recording your responses. The choice is yours.
Everyone deserves a safe space to explore and we hope this journal can be one for you.
This has been co-created using Michael White’s Narrative Practices and Ideas by Farah Maneckshaw and anyone else who chooses to use it.