As it’s Pride Month, I’d like to take the opportunity to make the next post in this series ‘Diversity in Education’ about the LGBTQ experience of education and what we can do to better educate the next generations to build a more accepting, loving humanity. I’d like to mention that I know the BLM movement is not over, I am still compiling more research and resources to share in the future. This post could not be written without mentioning the brave Queer People of Colour who held riots in New York (1969) and San Francisco (1966) to fight for LGBTQ rights. Without them we would not be able to have Pride today. Unfortunately, there is still much more work to be done, and I again want to champion education as one of the crucial steps in continuing to further the Pride movement.
Despite a titanic shift in feelings and acceptance of LGBTQ people over the last ten years in some Western cultures, the Sex and Relationships Education available to children in the UK has been noted institutionally limited and partial (Corteen, 2006). This is because many children in both Faith Schools and others around the UK are not equipped with a truly reflective understanding of sexuality and the diversities which exist within it (Robinson and Davies, 2017). Children across the country are being given education which directly defies LGBTQ rights, which can have such damaging effects on their mental health and wellbeing (Pring, 2018). Putting students through a system that does not represent or educate about LGBTQ relationships, sexuality, and gender expression can cause them to suppress their emotions and desires later in life, as they often feel wrong and shameful about them. This process is called internalization, and it is known to be harmful to an individual’s mental health. As well as this, a more diverse education on this topic is needed to prevent bullying of LGBTQ students by building a more accepting environment for all pupils to experience education in (Chen and Keats, 2016).
Therefore, it is essential that we continue to grow and learn about these issues ourselves, so that we can begin to more diversely educate our pupils and children. I am once again sharing some resources with you that can be used to open up the minds of the next generations in relation to LGBTQ rights.
Educational Resources for Teachers, Parents, Governors:
http://www.barnardosrealloverocks.org.uk/dashboard/ – Barnado’s ‘All Love Rocks’ educational pack
https://www.stonewall.org.uk/system/files/inclusive_curriculum_guide.pdf Secondary School Guide to Creating LGBTQ Curriculum in variety of subjects (USA)
https://www.glsen.org/lgbtq-history LGBTQ History Resources- from Information Cards to Audio Clips of LGBTQ icons like Sylvia Rivera
Books for ages 0-4 years:
Daddy, Papa and Me by Leslea Newman
My Two Moms and Me by Michael Jooston
Books ages 5-10:
I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution by Rob Sanders
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy
When you Look out the Window: how Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community by Gayle Pitman
Queer, There and Everywhere: 23 People who Changed the World by Sarah Prager
Books for ages 10-15:
Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker
The Whispers by Greg Howard
To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
The Moon Within by Aida Salazar
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
The Book of Pride by Mason Funk
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
The Bravest Knight (5+ years)
In a Heartbeat (8+)
Andi Mack (10+)
I am Jazz (12+)
The Danish Girl (12+)
Queer Eye (12+)
Coming Out (14+)
True Trans with Laura Jane Grace (15+)
I hope that this can shed some light on why we need a more diverse education in relation to LGBTQ History and Representation. It is important with every diverse group we will discuss in this series to represent them not just from the perspective of their struggles and plights, but as the ‘normal’ people they are and were. This way we let children know that anyone should be able to achieve their dreams, regardless of how different they might feel. Again, please leave a comment if you have resources that you would like to recommend too.
Thanks for reading, Kiayah.
Chen, C. P. and Keats, A. (2016) ‘Career development and counselling needs of LGBTQ high school students.’ British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 44(5) pp.576-588.
Corteen, K. M. (2006) ‘Schools’ fulfilment of sex and relationship education documentation: three school‐based case studies.’ Sex Education, 6(1) pp. 77-99.
Pring, R. (2018) The future of publicly funded faith schools: a critical perspective. London: Routledge.
Robinson K. H. and Davies. C (2017) ‘Sexuality Education in Early Childhood.’ In Allen, L., and Rasmussen, M. (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 217-242.