OtherWise 101

Getting Started

This course is designed to provide the groundwork for conversations about sex, sexuality, and gender. How are sex, gender, and sexuality related? Are they the same or does each hold a distinct meaning? How does culture fit into this picture? What are some of the stories you been told about gender?
OtherWise 101: Our Favorite Ways to Start (with a word cloud highlighting words like Intersex, Transgender, Two Spirit, and OtherWIse


Pre-Requisite: Being Brave Together: A Transfaith Primer (free) frames dialogue expectations for all OtherWise Academy discussion forums.

  • Being Brave Together is strongly recommended as a way to understand our dialogue expectations. However, you can begin the OtherWise 101 series without that 15 minute experience, if you are too eager to wait.

Certificate Program: Transfaith for Allies (free).

  • The Transfaith for Allies introductory course is also a good place to start your journey through the Transfaith for Allies certificate program and provides a different kind of starting point.

Designed for: English-speaking adults, regardless of religious affiliation or professional aspirations. 

  • The content may also be appropriate for younger audiences who are prepared for references to sexuality and body parts in an educational context.

Hours of Video: approximately 1.5 hours of video in total, with transcripts provided

OtherWise Voices: Mx Chris Paige, Rev. Louis Mitchell, Geo Soctomah Neptune, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Abby Stein, Gigi Gorgeous

Status: Open Access


  1. Identify four aspects or themes in conversations about gender
  2. Recognize the relationship between sexuality and gender
  3. Explore your own stories about gender and sexuality
  4. Practice listening cross-culturally to different stories of gender

Description: This course includes our best recommendations for learning the basics about how sex, gender, and sexuality fit together. It also provides some important background to put those ideas in historical and cross-cultural context. 

This is an accessible survey of concepts drawing from our favorite resources available on the internet. There are also opportunities to apply these concepts while listening to short videos of OtherWise folk talking briefly about themselves.  

The material here is curated to take you step by step through an introductory experience. Each section includes approximately 15 minutes (some more, some less) of video around a particular theme with captions and/or transcript available. You can move through the content at your own pace. Meanwhile, checkpoints at the end of each section provide an opportunity to review and reflect on what you have been learning.

While there are short references to specific religio-cultural contexts, this course is designed for everyone regardless of religious background or professional aspirations.

What People Are Saying:

It's a really great resource! 
I loved the personal stories with the questions after 
that made you rethink what was explicitly said vs. what you might assume. 

The Koosh ball metaphor highlighted the complexity of gender 
and helped me reflect on recent conversations
 about transgender participation in sports. 

The section on science opened up some good conversation for our family!

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome and Instructions (4 minutes of video)

    • Welcome to the OtherWise Academy!

    • Dialogue Expectations

    • Thinkific Orientation (optional)

  • 2

    Introduction (4 minutes of video)

    • Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It

    • Learning about Gender and Sex

    • Prepare and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 3

    What Is Gender Anyway? (8 minutes of video)

    • A Story about Pronouns

    • So, What Is Gender?

    • Download What Is Gender? (PDF)

    • Listening for Four Themes

    • Related Resources: What Is Gender Anyway?

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 4

    Exploring Gender (18 minutes of video)

    • Assigned, Affirmed, and Perceived Gender

    • Introducing the Gender Koosh

    • Download the Gender Koosh (PDF)

    • Stories about Gender: Remember to Listen...

    • OtherWise Introduction: Louis

    • Story Review: Louis

    • Related Resources: Exploring Gender

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 5

    Exploring Stories about Gender (20 minutes of video)

    • Working with Your Own Story

    • Culture and Gender Expression

    • Binary Gender and the Gender Koosh

    • OtherWise Introduction: delfin

    • Story Review: delfin

    • Related Resources: Exploring Stories about Gender

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 6

    Indigenous Gender, Part 1 (15 minutes of video)

    • Gender Diversity around the World

    • Sistergirls in Aboriginal Australia

    • Story Review: Sistergirls

    • Mahu in Hawaii

    • Story Review: Mahu

    • What Is Two Spirit?

    • Story Review: Two Spirit

    • What else did you notice?

    • Related Resources: Indigenous Gender, Part 1

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 7

    What Is Sexuality? (16 minutes of video)

    • Relationships and Romantic Preferences

    • Sexuality as an Ecosystem

    • Download the Sexuality Ecosystem (PDF)

    • OtherWise Introduction: Chris

    • Story Review: Chris

    • Exploring Your Own Stories about Sexuality

    • Related Resources: What Is Sexuality?

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 8

    Indigenous Gender, Part 2 (12 minutes of video)

    • Muxe in Mexico

    • Story Review: Muxe

    • Hijra in India

    • Story Review: Hijra

    • Five Genders in Indonesia

    • Story Review: Indonesian Genders

    • What else did you notice?

    • Related Resources: Indigenous Gender, Part 2

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 9

    Western Gender (24 minutes of video)

    • What about the Western World?

    • The Eunuch Umbrella

    • The One Gender Model: Men and Un-Men

    • Historic Christian Gender

    • Classical Jewish Gender

    • Modern Alphabet Soup

    • The Transgender Umbrella

    • OtherWise 101

    • Related Resources: Western Gender

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 10

    What about Science? (20 minutes of video)

    • Bodies and Biological Sex

    • Humans all start female

    • Sex variations - Genetic, Hormonal, and Behavioral

    • Science on Gender and Sex

    • Science of Transgender

    • Related Resources: What about Science?

    • Review and Reflect

    • Take Time to Be Present

  • 11


    • Summary: OtherWise 101

    • About the Transfaith for Allies certificate

    • Certificate: Final Project

  • 12

    Next Steps...

    • You did it! What's Next?

    • Before you go...

More Options for Getting Started

  • Free

    FreeOtherWise 101: Getting Started

    Interested? Get Started with OtherWise 101 now!
    Enroll Now
  • Free

    FreeBeing Brave Together: A Transfaith Primer

    A pre-requisite for most OtherWise Academy course work
    Enroll Now
  • Free

    FreeOtherWise 102: Key Terms and Concepts

    The NEXT STEP in getting started: An exploration of intersex, gender creative, transgender, and nonbinary identities
    Enroll Now
  • Free

    FreeOtherWise 103: Definitions, Terms, and Etiquette

    If you are worried about using the "right" language.
    Enroll Now
  • Free

    FreeTransfaith for Allies: An Introduction

    When you are ready to move into deeper relationship...
    Enroll Now
  • $15.00 / month

    $15.00 / monthMember

    Invest in the OtherWise Academy--and lock in lifetime savings!
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