It’s not always obvious how inclusive a professional is unless you ask directly — and you definitely should! Today, we’re sharing other clues to determine if the childbirth class you’re considering is welcoming of all families. It’s not that the failure to follow one or more of the practices listed below means that you shouldn’t take a particular class, but it could mean that you need to investigate more closely whether this class is right for you. It’s also important to know that the use of inclusive language on a website, for example, is only the first step — the proof is in the PowerPoint, er, class instruction. An instructor who uses inclusive language and teaching materials throughout class will help everyone feel welcome.
Use of pronouns – Does the instructor of the class you’re considering refer to their pronouns in their email signature? Do they use inclusive pronouns on their website?
Terminology – What kinds of terms are used on the class’ website? Regular use of “pregnant person” and “birthing person” may indicate a more inclusive setting.
Varied references to families and conception – Not all families have a mother and father, not all pregnant people are partnered, and not all babies are conceived via intercourse. Classes that actively recognize these differences through language and appropriate teaching materials demonstrate inclusivity.
Images used – If pictures on your prospective childbirth class’ website show a variety of people, including different ethnicities, single and partnered people, and gender non-conforming folx, then it’s likely to be a class that’s welcomes all.
LGBTQIA+ educators – Read the educator’s bio or look for signifiers on the website to see if the class is taught by someone who is LGBTQIA+.
Visible non-discrimination statement – Look for something on the website that states, “This organization/business does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, marital status…”
Listed on LGBTIA+ directories and resource lists – If the class you’re investigating is listed on LGBTIA+ friendly directories and resource lists, chances are good that it’s going to be a welcoming place for you.
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