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It’s important for both online and in-person classrooms to be safe for and inclusive of LGBTQ+ students. Here are some tips to make your digital classroom more LGBTQ-friendly!
Include LGBTQ+ stories in the curriculum
GLSEN’s 2017 National School Climate Survey found that LGBTQ+ students in schools with inclusive curriculum feel safer. Inclusive curriculum highlights LGBTQ+ people, culture, and history regularly and in a positive way. The It Gets Better Project offers a collection of LGBTQ+ stories you can share with your classes.
Use language that is inclusive and supportive
Use encouraging language, and keep your digital classroom free of derogatory and discriminatory language. Take some time to discuss what this means with your students, and you can even visit the It Gets Better Project’s glossary to learn more. Discuss pronouns with your students, and share your pronouns with them. You can even display your pronouns on your Zoom profile or email sign off.
Provide your students with the information they need
Many LGBTQ+ students may need help beyond what you can offer, such as medical care or legal aid. However, you can help by connecting them to the resources that are there to help them. Go to itgetsbetter.org/GetHelp to find an online database of over 1,100 organizations in 40+ countries around the world which provide support to the LGBTQ+ community.
Show your pride
GLSEN’s report also found that LGBTQ+ students thrive when they can identify supportive staff at their school. You can wear LGBTQ+ themed clothing, include a flag in the background, or even use an LGBTQ+ friendly Zoom background.
Information sourced from the It Gets Better Project's website