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Oregon Writing Project

Winter 2018: Three OWP Writers Recently Published

January 01, 2019

On Behalf of Their Name: Using They/Them Pronouns Because They Need Us To
by Mykhiel Deych
“When someone with the authority of a teacher describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing”. The staff advisor for their high school’s Queer-Straight Alliance delves into the complexities of a student-led training for teachers on the importance of using students’ preferred pronouns.

Teaching Them into Existence
by Mykhiel Deych
“Words don’t have a tangible weight, so how the hell do they hang so incredibly heavy on the body — stick to me like thistle burrs to wool socks?”. High school English and QSA staff advisor wrestles with the suicide of a transgender student and calls on heterosexual and cisgender teachers to integrate LGBTQ authors, themes, and history into their classrooms.

“What Kind Are You?”
Transgender Characters in Children’s Literature
by Lora Worden
Oregon Battle of the Books volunteers placed Alex Gino’s George on the 3rd- to 5th-grade reading list for the 2018–2019 competition. George is an award-winning novel about a transgender girl’s experience coming out to her family, her best friend, and her school. When OBOB published the final selection last spring, some people objected and tried to have George removed. Learn about George’s fight to remain on the list and discover other literature that focuses on transgender children.

Deportations on Trial: Mexican Americans During the Great Depression
by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca
A social studies teacher describes the role play trial she developed around a largely forgotten period: when during the Great Depression the United States deported thousands of Mexican American families, and connects this experience to today’s environment.

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