Check out these resources below as examples of culturally responsive and appropriate resources for teaching about these important topics. Along with these content supports, it is important to take time to reflect and review not only your classroom curriculum, but to formally review the curriculum of your school and district. Also, please take time to review resources that encourage you to self-reflect on how you, your students, and your colleagues engage in this work as well.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN) LGBTQ History - For all of us, learning an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum can help us better understand our world and our differences. For LGBTQ students in particular, it can mean feeling safer at school and hearing homophobic and transphobic remarks less frequently, according to GLSEN research.
LGBTQ+ Studies: A Resource Guide from the Library of Congress - Check out the LGBTQ+ Studies Resource Guide from the Library of Congress. This guide offers an introduction to the impressive LGBTQ+ collections of the Library of Congress. The Library collects at the research level in the area of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) studies. Library holdings are particularly strong in LGBTQ+ politics, history, literature and the performing arts. This guide is organized by subject, format, and time period.
Diverse Lesson Plans for a Welcoming and Safe School - Human Rights Campaign Welcoming Schools lesson plans are here to help you make classrooms more welcoming, inclusive and safe. Find LGBTQ and gender inclusive lesson plans. Aligned with the Common Core Standards and are easily integrated into Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and anti-bullying programs.
LGBTQ+ Objects in the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) Collection - The LGBTQ+ objects and archival collections at the National Museum of African American History and Culture focus on the familiar, untold, and unknown stories that have shaped the nation’s past. With the goal of promoting greater understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and contributions, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is exploring new ways of helping visitors reinterpret artifacts and the lives of people who have changed the course of history.
Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall - Check out this webinar hosted by the Smithsonian. Starting at the 14:32 mark of the video, there is a virtual lecture and discussion with Dr. Katherine Ott, Curator of Science & Medicine at the National Museum of American History.
Bibi (a classroom film from Teaching Tolerance) - Teaching Tolerance’s new streaming classroom film, Bibi, tells the story of a Latinx father and son who can talk about anything—but only in writing, in the letters they pass back and forth when conversation seems too much. And after Ben, affectionately called “Bibi” by his father, hands his father a letter that reads “I’m gay,” the two don’t talk at all. Based on the experiences of the filmmakers behind the project, the 18-minute film explores intersectionality in a powerful way, illustrating the beauty and conflict that can arise as we move between languages, places and societal expectations.
Queer America (a podcast series from Teaching Tolerance) - Without LGBTQ history, there is no American history. From Teaching Tolerance and hosts Leila Rupp and John D'Emilio, Queer America takes listeners on a journey that spans from Harlem to the Frontier West, revealing stories of LGBTQ life we should have learned in school. This podcast is produced in partnership with University of Wisconsin Press, publishers of Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History. It is the first book designed for high school and university teachers who want to integrate LGBTQ history into their standard curriculum.
Incorporating LGBPTQIA+ Content in History Lessons - An inclusive history curriculum benefits all students by providing mirrors to their own lives and windows into others’ lived experiences. Teachers may not have exposure to content-specific training around these topics, but they can find meaningful ways to integrate LGBTQIA+ content into the history curriculum by depoliticizing the conversation, enhancing content, and connecting the integration to student well-being.
Best Practices in Curriculum & Teaching
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN) Inclusive Curriculum Resource - GLSEN research shows that LGBTQ students who attend schools with curriculum that is inclusive of LGBTQ people, history, and events experience a better school climate and improved academic outcomes. Curriculum serves as a mirror when it reflects individuals and their experiences back to themselves. At the same time, curriculum serves as a window when it introduces and provides the opportunity to understand the experiences and perspectives of those who possess different identities. An inclusive curriculum should be balanced and include diverse windows and mirrors for every student. Having LGBTQ-inclusive mirrors and windows in school curriculum can help create a more positive environment and healthy self-awareness for LGBTQ students, while raising the awareness of everyone.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN) Educator Resources - Supportive educators save students’ lives. Having just one visibly supportive educator in a school can ensure that LGBTQ students feel safe, welcomed, and encouraged to learn. Show your support by displaying a Safe Space sticker and poster in your classroom. Learn how to discuss bullying, gender roles, or family diversity with elementary-aged students. Include positive representation of LGBTQ people in your curriculum. Inspire your students of all ages and all identities to be kind, support others, and speak up when they see bullying.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN) Allys Guide to Terminology - The words we use to talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and issues can have a powerful impact on our conversations. The right words can help open people’s hearts and minds, while others can create distance or confusion. For example, the abbreviation “LGBT” is commonly used within the movement for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender equality, but it can be confusing and alienating to people who don’t understand what it means (for many media and mainstream audiences, the term gay and transgender is more accessible without being overwhelming).
National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2020 - Experts on just beginning to understand the mental health impacts of the multiple crises in 2020 that have deeply impacted so many. But we know that suicide is still a public health crisis, consistently the second leading cause of death among young people, and continues to disproportionately impact LGBTQ youth. The need for robust research, systematic data collection, and comprehensive mental health support has never been greater.
Teaching LGBTQ+ History Toolkit - Illinois Civics.org has curated a number of quality resources to help educators to help educators teach the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Check out the list of resources below:
- Create Safe Inclusive Classroom Spaces for Teaching LGBTQ+ History (webinar)
- LGBTQ History.org
- Best Practices for Serving LGBTQ Students (Teaching Tolerance)
- Incorporating LGBTQ History in Your Classroom (Teaching Tolerance podcast)
- LGBTQ History and Why It Matters (Facing History and Ourselves Lesson Plan)
- Celebrating Pride Month: Free Lesson Plans, Resources, and Activities (AFT)
- Teaching LGBTQ Resources (PBS NewsHour extra)
- Lesson Plans to Support LGBTQ Inclusive Elementary Schools (Welcoming Schools)
- Making Gay History (A GLSEN Podcast series)
- Unheard Voices: Stories of LGBTQ History (Anti-Defamation League Lesson Plan)
LGBTQ+ Pride Month & The Stonewall Uprising
National Archives: LGBTQ Pride Month - The National Archives holds extensive records created or received by the U.S. Government on issues of sexual identity and rights. They not only hold these records, but they provide access to them.
LGBTQ Pride Month and Education Resources (Anti-Defamation League) - LGBTQ Pride Month is commemorated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots 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 the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ Americans. Today, LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, attracting millions of participants around the world.
LGBTQ Pride Month (PBS) - Celebrate Pride Month this June and every day with PBS! Explore a special collection of films, series and short stories that explore the LGBTQ experience in the United States and around the world.
LGBTQ Pride Month (Library of Congress) - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Celebrating Stonewall (Teaching Tolerance) - June 28 marks the anniversary of the start of the Stonewall uprisings. Largely led by Black and Brown trans women and gender nonconforming people of color, protesters demonstrated against routine police violence, discrimination and dehumanization. This year, we’re celebrating Pride by celebrating the intersectional history of the LGBTQ movement—and the intersectionality of current movements in support of Black lives and LGBTQ rights.
Over the Rainbow Book List (American Library Association) - The Over the Rainbow committee of the American Library Association's Rainbow Roundtable gave careful consideration to 324 books this year, 152 fiction and 172 nonfiction. They chose 32 fiction titles and 28 nonfiction titles to make up the complete 2020 Over the Rainbow book list. They are excited by the continued expansion of queer publishing. The depth of substantial topics covered and the number of quality books from all over the genre spectrum is thrilling. No longer is the focus solely upon stories of tragedy. They read about lives filled with joy.
Other books to consider include:
Michael Bronski A Queer History of the United States
Michael Bronski A Queer History of the United States - For Young People
Dr. Meg-John Barker Queer: A Graphic History
Continue the Work Beyond Your Class:
Along with these content supports, it is important to take time to reflect and review not only your classroom curriculum, but to formally review the curriculum of your school and district. Also, please take time to review resources that encourage you to self-reflect on how you, your students, and your colleagues engage in this work as well.