Hey Girl, Let’s Celebrate!
Sunday, 10/11 is Unicef’s International Day of the Girl!*
A recent study by the Williams Institute at UCLA found that among teens in California, 27 percent identified with some level of gender nonconformity.
By transcending binary, rigid definitions of gender, our youth are insisting on claiming the full range of their humanity, and thus, their power. Skills we may have traditionally thought of as ‘feminine’, such as: intuition, emotional intelligence, empathy, and compassion, are necessary for all human beings if our species is to survive and thrive. Likewise, we all need qualities that are often considered to be ‘masculine’, like strength, courage, independence, leadership, and assertiveness.
At Gaia Passages, we empower those who are socialized as, or identify with, the term “girl,” and we honor those who transcend inherited gender binaries.** We see the growing gender fluid movement as an important evolutionary step towards more inclusive and creative thinking; inspired by the courage of our youth, we are all invited to step out of predetermined boxes and into the full range of our authenticity.
The youth in GP’s programs were born into a pivotal time on earth. As Joanna Macy teaches, we are in the midst of “The Great Turning,” evolving from an industrial growth society into a life-sustaining civilization. The opportunity we have to “come alive to our truest power, to ‘look straight into the face of our time… is the biggest gift we can give’” (JoannaMacyfilm.org).
Until very recently we were known as Gaia Girls Passages. We changed our name to Gaia Passages to acknowledge the gender non-binary, and we’re expanding our programs to support other stages of life, while continuing to center our youth. The gift we give in all our programs is a commitment to providing safe, inclusive, and accessible spaces for all our participants.*** We want our youth to know that they can show up as their full selves and trust that the staff, and the greater Gaia Passages community culture, is shaped to honor their unique gifts. We vision our spaces, places, and groups to offer belonging and sanctuary where difference, authenticity, and personal and shared power are encouraged. We support our youth to bravely grow their lives and leadership, and we water a garden of young life tenders who will regenerate and transform their worlds. For more information about our programs, please go to https://gaiapassages.org/programs/.
*Information about Unicef’s International Day of the Girl can be found here: unicef international day of the girl
**Gaia Passages defines the term ‘girl’ as including all gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth).
***We are dedicated to building trust within the Gender & Sexually Expansive (LGBTQ2IA+) community by committing to continuous learning, and providing programs that align with the most current best practices. Interested youth are welcome to join our Queer Council, where we center their voices and experiences for community resilience.