In my view, the most important thing to give kids is the opportunity to learn how to be critical towards the norms that will shape the rest of their lives.
Norms about gender dictate a lot of our values and moral judgments about the world. Why? In part because we grow up with them. Most of us have from a very young age experienced or participated in teasing, even bullying, other people just because they might look or sound different, because of race or gender, or because we were afraid of them. These patterns follow us into adulthood if they’re never challenged and contradicted.
As part of Normstormerne (The Norm Stormers) 23-year-old Elvin is dedicated to educating children and youths about these exact norms – and how to challenge them. Because of his own experience with breaking gendered norms as a transperson, he has a specific interest in the unhealthy norms surrounding gender and acceptance that still persist in certain domains of modern society – sometimes accompanied by verbal or physical abuse.
Fighting the violence that we who are in conflict with gendered norms experience starts with education.
Normstormerne’s ambition is to combat the violence and bullying associated with gender and sexuality among young people. Their courses are offered free of charge to 7. to 10. graders in Danish public schools. The project is realised through collaboration with and support from The Children and Youth Administration in the Copenhagen and Aarhus municipalities, LGBT Youth, The LGBT-Life/Aids Fund, and Sex & Society.