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Author - Educator - Speaker - Consultant

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Supporting gender-friendly learning environments where all can thrive.

Home: Services
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Services are customized to meet the specific needs of each school/district. In-person and online modules support professional learning.


Offering support for school districts as they update/write policy, goals, and handbooks. I also lead program evaluation to engage multiple stakeholders in identifying a theory of action and determining what is working and what might be improved to create safe, equitable, and inclusive schools for diverse students.


Presentations can be tailored to any length/level/audience to inspire positive change in schools and support gender-aware and gender-friendly learning environments.

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What’s Being Said about OK TO SAY "THEY"

Home: Testimonials

Thank you, Dr. Whittlesey, for giving me a practical approach to creating a learning environment where students of all back- grounds feel safe, included, and welcomed! Your straightforward strategies have allowed me to promote an inclusive educational atmosphere where all can thrive socially, emotionally, and intellectually.

Leah Ferullo, Ed.D., fifth-grade teacher

Finally! All educators want to provide support to transgender and nonbinary students, but most are not really sure how to do so.  It's OK to Say "They" will work great as the subject for a professional study group or as the basis for much-needed professional development.

Matthew L. Beyranevand, Ed.D., math teacher and author of Teach Math Like This, Not Like That and Adding Parents to the Equation

As a parent of two nonbinary children who both use they/them/ their pronouns and the coordinator of social emotional learning for a public school system, I enthusiastically recommend this thoughtful and helpful book! It is an invaluable resource for educators and parents. The more we understand youth who identify as transgender and nonbinary, the better we can support their academic, social, and emotional success.

Larainne M. Wilson, M.Ed., coordinator of social emotional learning and counseling

It's OK to Say "They" is a must-read for educators everywhere. Whittlesey seamlessly interweaves practical, accessible tips for allies with educational (and sometimes heartbreaking) first-person accounts from students. By enacting this book's suggestions for improving trans inclusivity in the classroom and beyond, educators have the opportunity to change and even save students' lives.

Tuck Woodstock, gender educator and host of the Gender Reveal podcast

As a nonbinary person who often had to make the difficult choice between expressing my own gender identity or protecting my personal safety in school, I am beyond grateful that this trailblazing book exists as a resource for educators and ultimately the well being of our youth. Compassionate and supportive teachers can create relationships with LGBTQ youth that have lasting impacts. This book equips our educators with knowledge and understanding that can quite literally save lives.

Fernando Z. López, executive director, San Diego LGBT Pride

This book is a must-read for anyone who works with children! As teachers, we are here to educate and make our students feel loved, safe, and accepted. We must continue to do what is best for ALL students. This book shows the importance of educators making the slightest changes in order to become allies to transgender and nonbinary students. These changes in how we address and accept all students can have lasting effects.

Kristine Jussaume, fourth-grade teacher

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