In place of the once-illustrious “Genderbread Person,” an organization has popularized a “Gender Unicorn” now making its way around campuses across the country.
The graphic, created by an organization known as Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), features a purple unicorn alongside a list of categories, such as “gender identity,” “gender expression,” “sex assigned at birth,” “physically attracted to,” and “emotionally attracted to,” asking students to indicate where they fall on the spectrum for each category.
"We wanted to create a gender graphic that shows how queer and trans people view gender." Tweet This
The unicorn appeared at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, for instance, offering students an “activity” that provides participants an “opportunity to reflect on their own gender identity, expression, sex, and sexuality.”
“Lol this is what UW-Whitewater spends its time and money on,” one student remarked on Twitter, with the unicorn indicating that he was to “place an ‘X’ on the below spectra,” noting that “far left = does not identify,” while “far right = strongly identifies.”promotional material, while members of Cedar Crest College’s “OutThere” organization featured the unicorn at a student fair.
Notably, TSER acknowledges that some “may recognize this graphic as similar to the “Genderbread Person” created by a separate organization, though TSER decided to make “significant changes to more accurately portray the distinction between gender, sex assigned at birth, and sexuality.”
“We wanted to create a gender graphic that shows how queer and trans people view gender instead of one straight, cisgender man,” TSER explains, citing several fundamental issues with the Genderbread Person.“Biological sex is an ambiguous word that has no scale and no meaning besides that it is related to some sex characteristics. It is also harmful to trans people,” TSER proclaims. “Instead, we prefer ‘sex assigned at birth’ which provides a more accurate description of what biological sex may be trying to communicate.”
TSER goes on to assert that there “are other genders besides male and female,” and that “not all cultures operate on a male/female binary.”
“Sex, whether referencing an array of sex characteristics or sex assigned at birth, is not exclusively determined through genitals,” the group concludes.