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  • All right, folks, here we go.

  • A Romaine and kale salad with avocado, cucumber, shishito peppers, and four kinds of cheese.

  • Sprinkled in balsamic straight from Italy.

  • Wow!

  • In my day, salads only had two ingredients: a rock-hard wedge of iceberg lettuce and a stinky old dried up tomato.

  • Sorry, guys, I'm gonna have to eat fast.

  • Alex is stopping by in a few minutes to work on a robotics project.

  • Alex...

  • Is that the girl with that weird dog or the boy with the hat with the wings that flap?

  • No, Uncle Jay, this is Alex.

  • Oh, OK, I remember.

  • A very nice younghmm, come to think of it...

  • ... well, is Alex a boy or a girl?

  • Actually, Alex doesn't define themselves as boy or girl.

  • What else is there?

  • Back in your day, most people understood the world in terms of just boys and girls.

  • But now, we know gender is more complex than that.

  • Waitaren't we just talking about whether you're born with a [honk-honk] or a [hee-hee]?

  • When you're born, your sex is assigned in a medical way.

  • But the sex listed on your birth certificate may not necessarily match your gender identity.

  • Gender identity is a person's inner experience of who they are in terms of gender.

  • Their deep personal sense of being male, female, a blend of both, or neither.

  • And while many people have a gender identity that's the same as their assigned birth sex⏤a female or malethat's not always the case because gender exists on a spectrum.

  • Like transgender, which means a person whose gender identity is not consistent with their assigned birth sex.

  • Non-binary, which means a person whose identity doesn't fall in the category of either male or female.

  • And genderqueer or genderfluid, which means a person who does not identify themselves as having a specific gender at all.

  • Does gender identity have to do with being straight or gay?

  • Actually, no.

  • Gender identity has to do with the way you feel about yourself.

  • While sexual orientation is based on the way you feel toward othersthe people you may or may not be attracted to.

  • You know, I really like Alex, and I can tell they're a good friend to you.

  • But I'm still pretty confused about all of this.

  • That's OK; you don't have to fully understand someone to respect them.

  • To start, try not to make any assumptions about a person's gender.

  • And use the name and pronouns that they ask you to.

  • Above all, be a friend or ally for people of all gender identities.

  • That's right, mom.

  • Oh, Alex is here.

  • Come on in.

  • Hey, everyone.

  • Oh, hey, Alex.

  • Care for some salad?

  • The balsamic's right from Italy, you know.

All right, folks, here we go.

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