Discussion Guide: Parrotfish

Discussion Questions for Gay-Straight Alliances

  1. Grady says his sexuality is “just plain old heterosexual male.” Do you understand the distinctions Grady makes between sexuality and gender? Explain how someone might be transgendered but not gay.
  1. Is Grady correct about the first question everyone asks after a baby is born? How would things be different if that questions were less important? What might be a better question?
  1. How do you think our society might change if there were more than just two ways to define gender? Would our lives be different if we accepted the possibility of three or ten or even an infinite number of genders?
  1. In what way does the family’s annual Christmas extravaganza echo the life that Angela has been leading for sixteen years?
  1. Where do you see yourself on Sebastian’s gender football field? Do you think most people would be clustered at one end or the other, or would lots of people be somewhere in the middle?
  1. Why was it so difficult for Mom and Laura and Eve to accept Grady’s transitioning? Why might it have been easier for Dad and Charlie? Imagine that you had a sibling who told you he or she wanted to change their gender. How do you think you would react? Why?
  1. How does Grady’s body betray him on his first day of living as a boy? Would there be something equally embarrassing for a male-to-female transgendered teen to face?
  1. How should you deal with bullies like Danya or Kleinhorst and Whitney?
  1. Do you understand Eve’s initial reluctance to acknowledge Grady at the high school? Does she redeem herself by telling Grady about the trick Danya has planned to embarrass him?
  1. Why did Grady and Kita find the football assembly – when Ben and George dressed like girls – so offensive? Would you find it offensive? What if you knew it was directed at someone specific?
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