Making Your School a Safe Space for LGBTQ Students https://schoolleadersnow.weareteachers.com/create-inclusive-environment-for-lgbt-students/ I remember the first time that I read about someone who loved like I do. My palms started to sweat, and I realized for the first time in my life that I was exactly who I was supposed to be. This moment literally changed my outlook on my own life. So many LGBTQ students yearn for this moment, but unfortunately schools have not always been a place where they can have it. Many kids struggle through their time in school, not feeling welcome and also not feeling safe. However, schools can make a difference. The five strategies below provide action-oriented practices that can positively impact your LGBTQ students’ experience while they are in school.
Helping Young People Stay Afloat: A Qualitative Study of Community Resources and Supports for LGBTQ Adolescents in the US and Canada https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100798/#!po=70.9790 Gay/Straight Alliances (GSAs) at school were a subset of LGBTQ youth-serving organizations that were distinguished by their association with schools, allowing for connection with supportive peers and adults who were consistently and easily accessible (in contrast to a drop-in center that might be visited less frequently or have a rotating staff). GSAs were often seen as a significant source of support for LGBTQ youth, meeting a need that was not available in the community more broadly. When asked where they might take an LGBTQ friend in need of support, one participant responded: I think I’d take them to the school… because really the [GSA] is the only thing that I know of, and it’s really supportive…. If someone comes in and they have a problem we’re, like, all right. Come here and we’ll comfort you. (pansexual, trans, European, rural, age 17, British Columbia)
Why LGBTQ+ Education Needs to Start Before High School https://www.them.us/story/lgbtq-education-needs-to-start-before-high-school The middle school’s first GSA meeting was a success, with at least 20 kids attending and half identifying as straight. Cupcakes were devoured, new acquaintances were made, and others made the shift from acquaintances to friends. There were kids all over the gender and sexuality spectrum. The slideshow introduced the GSA’s mission and goals, and included a link to a supplemental website the kids created. The one at the second meeting was a game show that tested knowledge of gender and sexuality terminology.
On Intersectionality and Allyship https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/on-intersectionality-and-allyship?fbclid=IwAR0v07hl8w2KxjA9QQ5oyISip6mi-kTWzrS8U0NE6b_Cvba-c2f2n4_NroA If we want to be allies to our students, we have to recognize—and honor—their full identities. That means also recognizing and working to remedy interlocking systems of oppression. “We should encourage students to strive to be better allies by directly acknowledging and addressing how privilege contributes to oppressive systems at school and in their community. We can help students recognize that ignoring one part of a person’s identity is an erasure of their lived experience.” “By building classroom and school cultures that affirm all identities, guiding classroom discussions where students learn to be allies and leading the fight against hate within our communities, we can create an environment, inside and outside of school, where people of all identities can safely be themselves.”
When Autistic Students are LGBTQ+ What do educators need to know about autistic LGBTQ2+ teens, and what can they do? https://www.edcan.ca/articles/lgbtq2-autistic-students/?fbclid=IwAR1zI-6gcoyDLjbIF8cnAzrXVZsJ7DUEGEnL6dnbuidUTrwydscbfd7Lyoc Like other minorities, LGBTQ2+ and autistic teens face instances of marginalization and misunderstanding in various contexts, including within their own families. Both groups may struggle while negotiating common social situations such as dating and sexuality. The impacts of stereotyping, social exclusion and lack of self-acceptance place them at increased risk of mental health issues. Teens on the spectrum who do not conform to sex and gender norms have an additional set of challenges. Autistic LGBTQ2+ youth are more isolated and have fewer peer connections to discuss, share and ask questions about their sexual orientation and gender identity. They are more likely to have their gender dysphoria or same-sex attractions dismissed or challenged by people close to them. They also have more difficulties navigating systems and getting healthcare and other supports. Missed social and contextual cues can place autistic youth at high risk for victimization, bullying, sexual assault, and risky sexual behaviour. This is especially true for autistic females, who experience three times the rate of sexual victimization as their neurotypical peers.
Their Truth to Tell https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/11/lgbtq-allyship-kids-privacy-acceptance.html For kids who identify as LGBTQ, the dangers of their gender identity or sexual orientation being shared without their explicit consent are much higher. There’s the bullying that more than one-third of LGBTQ kids face on school property, for example, and the growing number of homicides and other hate crimes against the LGBTQ community. And there’s the fact that one in four LGBTQ kids are thrown out of their own homes just for coming out to their parents.