According to data collected by the CDC, it is estimated that nearly two million American young people aged 13-17 identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender – representing a remarkable 9.5% of the total young population.
What does this mean for educators? This means that whether or not it is clear to others, there is a good chance that at least a few students in any classroom can identify as LGBTQ +. These students have a relatively high risk of becoming targets for bullies, violence – and even committing suicide. To address these risks, teachers can provide support to LGBTQ + students in a variety of ways, many of which do not require knowing who can identify as LGTBQ + in your classroom.
The following sites offer important information to educators (or anyone working with young people) on how to create an environment that promotes learning and acceptance among all students, no matter how they identify. All resources except one are free.
What does LGBTQ stand for? (opens in new tab)
Abbreviations are practical but sometimes confusing. Reader’s Digest brings clarity to the term LGTBQ + with a brief history and explanation of its meaning and how it has evolved over time.
Bullying: A student, a school and a cause that made history (opens in new tab)
Bullied is a 40-minute documentary that tells a case of bullying against homosexuals and a student’s response. Despite its disturbing subject matter, the film offers a hopeful message to victims of school bullying. The film set offered by Learning For Justice includes a DVD with the documentary, viewer guide with standard-adapted lessons and activities, as well as additional online resources. The set is free to use in elementary schools, educational schools, public libraries, houses of worship and non-profit organizations that serve young people.
It’s getting better EDU (opens in new tab)
These helpful tutorials for educators and students include titles such as “How to Make Your Classroom More LGBTQ Friendly,” “LGBTQ + Glossary,” and “imi: A Mental Health Tool for LGBTQ + Adolescents.”
Advocates of youth resources and tools for professionals (opens in new tab)
Explore curricula on topics such as HIV prevention, sex education, cultural responsiveness, dating violence and creating safer spaces for LGBTQ + young people.
Just facts about sexual orientation and youth (opens in new tab)
The American Psychological Association provides a free PDF primer to principals, educators, and other school staff that explains the evolution of sexual orientation, efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy or religious ministry, and legal principles regarding lesbian, gay, and bisexual student rights. The booklet is a collaboration between 13 national groups, including the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, and the American School Health Association.
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN): Teaching Resources (opens in new tab)
A rich stock of lesson plans, curricula, administrators, and professional development guides for those working in K-12 education. Particularly useful are LGBTQ + -related book recommendations for elementary, middle, and high school students.
Wanda Sykes takes us through the history of LGBTQ + – Now you know (opens in new tab)
Laughter brings people together, so take a short walk through the LGBTQ + story with a humorous look, politely by the cartoon Wanda Sykes.
Facilitated LGBTQ + Blended Learning course (opens in new tab)
The National Education Association’s online mixed learning courses are led by trained facilitators and qualify for professional development credits. Topics include creating a safer space, classroom strategies to mitigate inequality toward LGBTQ + children, employment protection for LGBTQ + staff, and support for students who do not match gender. The courses run from 18 July to 27 August 2022. Register no later than 8 July. Free for NEA members; 100.00 for non-members.
Support LGBTQ + young people (opens in new tab)
This National Education Association article examines the different ways educators across the country support LGTBQ + children.
What works for LGBTQ students (opens in new tab)
Twenty years of data from the National School Climate Survey informs about our current understanding of bias against LGBTQ + children in schools. This conversation with Dr. Joseph Kosciw, director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Research Institute, explores students’ experiences, how new terms emerged in common use, and how educators can support LGBTQ + children.
The role of gay men and lesbians in the civil rights movement (opens in new tab)
A set of four lessons for high school students examining the significant contributions of James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Pauli Murray, and Bayard Rustin to the American civil rights movement.
How to make your school LGBTQ-inclusive (opens in new tab)
A super-informative video explaining the benefits of creating an LGBTQ-inclusive classroom and easy ways for teachers to do so.