“I teach community college developmental English in a teeny tiny South Carolina town. This year the focus for our annual conference is inclusion of all students. Can you recommend books, websites, etc that would help inclusion of LGBT students? Thank you in advance. Keep fighting the good fight!”
Question Submitted Anonymously
Answered by Grace Manger
Hi there! Thanks so much for a) making the effort to include LGBT folks in your classroom and b) reaching out for help to do so!!
Based on your question, I understand that you’re looking for resources specifically to help teachers be more inclusive of LGBTQ students in their classrooms. However, I think the first step in all of this is to ensure you and your colleagues are as knowledgeable as can be on the LGBTQ community in general and the issues that folks within the community face. Going back to the basics will ensure that everyone at the conference can re-enter their classrooms with more knowledge on how to acknowledge and respect LGBTQ identities, and incorporate them into their classrooms in a respectful way. As such, I’ll start with the basics, then move on to teacher-specific resources, and end with some of my favorite books with LGBTQ authors and/or characters that you could incorporate into your classroom. Here we go!
Back to Basics: LGBTQ
• My Kid Is Gay’s Defining Series explains various LGBTQ terms and identities on a basic, 101 level. This is a great starting point to learn what it means to be transgender, bisexual, queer, gender nonconforming, gay, and so much more!
• Stay up-to-date on the current challenges that the LGBTQ community is facing with the following websites:
• The Human Rights Campaign
• HuffPost Queer Voices
• This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids by Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid
• A Guide to Gender: The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook by Sam Killermann
• Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager and Zoe More O’Ferrall
• Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Resources for Educators
• Our School + Work section includes advice on a bunch of different topics related to being LGBT at school. We also have a section specifically for teachers with posts like:
• 5 Ways You Can Support Trans Students at School
• How to Foster Safe, Healthy, and Productive Dialogue in the Classroom
• Making Your Classroom More LGBTQ Inclusive
• Talking About Trans Bathroom Rights
• GLSEN’s Educator Guides offer resources that explain gender identity, how to be an LGBTQ ally at school, and more!
• The Family Acceptance Project offers trainings on a variety of topics, including making schools safe and supportive for LGBT students.
• Campus Pride works to support LGBTQ student leaders and organizations in fostering safe and inclusive schools.
• TransYouth Family Allies offer these resources and further reading for educators of LGBTQ people
• Trans Youth Equality Foundation has resources and trainings available for educators
• One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium by Kevin Jennings (founder of GLSEN) shares a compilation of personal stories from LGBTQ educators.
• Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy
• She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
• Gender Failure by Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon
• Darling Days by iO Tillett Wright
• The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
• Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, & So Much More by Janet Mock
• Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
• Nevada by Imogen Binnie
• Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
• Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
• Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Thanks again for reaching out for assistance. I really hope you and your colleagues can use these resources to make your classrooms, curriculums, and teacher-student relationships more welcoming of LGBTQ identities!