Trauma of the Gender Binary

Joshua Croke

Many of us have been taught that you are either a boy or a girl. We have also been taught that sexual orientation is a choice with moral implications. Society has constructed rigid boxes that limit expressions of self and love. The reality is that biological sex, gender expression and sexual orientation all exist on a continuum. What harm do we do to our selves and each other when people are forced into a box? Josh will speak to the trauma that comes from conforming to social norms and the endless possibilities that arise when we are allowed to be authentic selves.

Joshua Croke is a facilitator and designer who specializes in community engagement and inclusive innovation. Josh founded Action! by Design, a queer-led design studio that helps organizations advance social innovation initiatives through facilitation, community engagement, project design, and storytelling. They are also the president of Love Your Labels, an organization that explores identity and expression with LGBTQ+ youth through art, fashion, and design. Josh’s client projects have received awards and recognition including Best of Innovation at CES, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Award, and Oprah’s Favorite Things. Accolades include BEQ Pride Magazine’s LGBT Leaders Under 40 (2020), Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 (2019), Boston Spirit Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Young Trailblazers (2017) and many more.