A teacher, who has since resigned, set off a firestorm of controversy at Ballentine Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, late last month when she used a set of LGBTQ themed flashcards to teach her students about colors.
According to state representative Erin Paré, a Republican from Wake County, a parent contacted her via email alerting her to the use of the LGBTQ themed flashcards, which she apparently felt were inappropriate.
Paré says she contacted the principal of the elementary school to determine if the use of the cards in the classroom did in fact occur.
According to the school’s website, the principal is identified as Lutashia Dove. She confirmed the cards were being used in a preschool classroom by a teacher who said they were utilized to display and discuss the various spectrum of colors that exist.
The identity of the teacher remains unknown and she has since resigned. While the school principal says that the cards were not part of approved curriculum, it is unknown whether or not the teacher was using them to convey any message other than what the school principal referenced.
The collection of cards includes an illustration of two individuals who appear to be a cisgender female and a transgender male couple. The transgender male is pregnant.
It is this particular image that has captured worldwide attention, once again thrusting North Carolina into an unappealing spotlight of controversy as Republicans feign predictable outrage and multiple media outlets report the image “shows a pregnant man,” without offering any additional explanation referencing transgender pregnancy.
Perhaps not without coincidence, the illustration of the pregnant transgender man does bear a striking resemblance to Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who captured international attention in 2008 when he wrote an article for The Advocate about his decision to have a child with his wife, who was unable to carry or give birth. Although Beatie had undergone top surgery and was living his life as Thomas, he chose to leave his at-birth reproductive organs intact, which allowed the couple to have additional children and raise a family.
In an NBC report last year updating Beattie’s life as a now 48-year-old father of four and a stockbroker, the story opened with the words, “Today, the concept of a transgender man giving birth is hardly novel…”
In the more rural parts of North Carolina, however, that apparently remains in question.