2021 has surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history, with an unprecedented 18 anti-LGBTQ measures sweeping through state legislatures across the country, according to tracking and analysis by the Human Rights Campaign.
The rights of LGBTQ+ people — and especially transgender youth — across our nation are being systematically threatened and undermined. To ensure every LGBTQ+ person is free to live life openly with equal rights ensured, we must keep educating, supporting and inspiring ourselves, each other and our students.
What better time to kick off and continue that work than during Pride Month? Here are some helpful resources compiled by our CCE team of educators to bookmark and use with your students all year.
The Importance of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Like other similarly themed months, it is important not to isolate the exploration of LGBTQ+ people and culture into one month during the year. LGBTQ+ history is part of U.S. history and should be integrated into the curriculum throughout the school year. Including LGBTQ+ themes and history in your classroom is a vital first step to helping LGBTQ+ students feel safe and accepted. As always, all students will benefit from having a better understanding of history and the groups within our community.
Each year, GLSEN, an organization established by teachers in the 1990s to support LGBTQ youth, releases the National School Climate Survey. The survey consistently shows that students with inclusive curricula report a greater sense of belonging to their school community, hear fewer homophobic remarks and are less likely to be victimized or feel unsafe at school than those without inclusive curriculum. This work can make that difference!
LGBTQ+ Resources for Teachers
These LGBTQ+ curriculum resources can be used throughout the school year to encourage students to become visible allies and to help them build empathy and understanding:
- Anti-Defamation League – This site features an extensive list of relevant K-12 curriculum, children’s books and other resources to bring LGBTQ+ Pride Month to your schools and classrooms.
- MAJOR! – Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a veteran of the Stonewall Uprising and a survivor of Attica State Prison, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. Her personal story and activism for transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today. This link includes instructions and study guides for showing this documentary on your campus.
- Human Rights Campaign – This site offers details on the Record-Shattering Number of Anti-LGBTQ Measures Enacted Into Law, as well as resources on equality and inclusion.
- GLSEN: The Educator’s Guide to LGBT Pride Month – This site offers an array of school resources from affirming hallway signs to resources on inclusive history, terminology, students’ texts and even PSAs featuring Wanda Sykes, Hillary Duff and the NBA.
- WeTeachNYC – This collection includes lessons on gender and identity along with articles, videos and FAQs designed to help educators foster learning environments in which all students feel safe and respected. This collection is relevant to teachers, students, administrators and caregivers; there is content for all grade levels.
About LQBTQ+ Pride Month
LGBTQ+ Pride Month is commemorated each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQ+ Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marked a turning point in LGBTQ+ history and the movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans. The Stonewall uprising can be further studied through the contributions of Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and countless others.
To find more articles, tools and tips from the Cross Country Education team, visit our CCE Educational Resources.