A Republican lawmaker is pressing the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to explain the use of material featuring characters called “Genderbread Person” and “the Gender Unicorn.” 

A week ago, State Representative Aaron Bernstine (R-Ellwood City) sent a letter to Pennsylvania Secretary of Education (PDE) Noe Ortega asking about a diagram apparently distributed by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) that depicts the two figures. 

Bernstine’s letter indicated he learned about the graphic from individuals who attended a presentation at Grove City College. He wrote that the attendees told him that DOE provided the document to PDE as “an option to be used in curriculum for students in the 6-7 age range.” 

Titled “Gender Ideology: Self-defined. Dis-Integrated. Post-modern ‘Anthropology’ of Public Education,” the diagram displays a purple unicorn alongside a bulleted list that reads: “Gender Identity (female/woman/girl, male/man/boy, other gender[s]), Gender Expression/Presentation (feminine, masculine, other), Sex Assigned at Birth (female, male, other), Sexually Attracted to (women, men, other gender[s]), Romantically/Emotionally Attracted to (women, men, other gender[s]).”

The sheet further depicts a gingerbread person with the words “Identity,” “Attraction” and “Sex” written alongside it, with lines respectively drawn between the words and the figure’s head, heart and crotch areas.

Bernstine’s missive first asked whether that diagram or any similar materials have been utilized in any curriculum with PDE’s endorsement and second whether such depictions are used in any PDE-approved continuing education courses for teachers. The representative requested documentation on which programs feature them, if any do. 

“This is simply inappropriate for children of this age, and should not be included in any curriculum,” Bernstine in a statement. “It is not the job of the government to indoctrinate these kids to this type of graphic. These young people do not need to be confused about issues that do not relate to their age group. It is unethical.” 

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and his department have frequently taken leftist positions when it comes to the politics of sex and gender. In 2018, the state Human Relations Commission issued guidance reinterpreting sex to encompass “sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identity, gender transition, and/or gender expression” for purposes of anti-discrimination law. PDE maintains a glossary of “Gender and Gender Identity” terms and definitions including “Binary Gender: The faulty concept that there are only two genders: male and female” and “Gender Identity: How we feel about our gender in our hearts and minds.”

– – –

Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Pennsylvania Daily Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].