Course 6 Preview


Fixing our understanding of gender and sexuality into a tight binary limits us from supporting all members of our community. Looking for the full Course 6? Access Course 6 here.

Illustration, the standard male and female depictions often seen on signs with drawings of people below them of varying genders

Purpose and Overview

In this course, we’ll look at the gender binary and heteronormativity. These represent two systems that limit how we understand gender and sexuality. Together, they create cisheteronormativity, which is a root cause of social injustice and health inequity for all, especially LGTBQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, +) communities. We’ll explore the relationship between male-dominated structures of power (patriarchy), fixed gender roles (the gender binary), and how normalizing only heterosexuality (heteronormativity) limits access to health-serving resources, opportunities, and infrastructure throughout society. We’ll look at how these systems interact with other root causes, such as white supremacy, racism, and class oppression, driving health inequities particularly for the people who are marginalized at their intersections. ​When we engage with LGTBQIA+ community experts and members, refine our institutional approaches, gather better data, advocate for better laws and policies, and educate our communities, public health can help to transform our culture to one that affirms gender and sexuality in all its iterations for all members of our communities.

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Course 6 Highlights

screenshot of gender world map page
Prior to European colonialism, in many cultures around the world—particularly in Indigenous, African, and Asian countries—gender fluidity has always been present, both in theory, practice, and in language.

Next Steps

Illustration of a group of people of various genders and races stand and sit around a table conversing
Start a group

Learn together about the roots of health inequity by starting a group for your organization. Our course provides step-by-step guidance on how to facilitate healthy dialogue and exploration.

Illustration of a black man sitting on the ground with a laptop open in his lap
Learn independently

Enroll in the Independent Learners group and complete the course with a community of learners interested in health equity.