Schools are some of the first places 2SLGBTQ+ youth start publicly expressing themselves. The allyship and safe spaces teachers, principals, and school administrators provide can be life-saving. In this guide explore some tips to help you transform your school to be more inclusive and provide an environment for 2SLGBTQ+ youth to thrive.
Displaying a Pride Flag in your classroom can let your students know your classroom is a safe and welcoming place. Not all 2SLGBTQ+ students will have a safe space or trusted adult they can turn to, but displaying a Pride flag can let them know your class is a safe space.
Representation matters. Having diverse and inclusive books and media in your classroom not only lets students feel represented but also normalizes them. Some students don’t have the words to articulate what they are feeling but seeing things they can identify with can help them get started.
Starting the year off by confirming student pronouns and names can help start the year off in the right direction. It can be very harmful and discouraging to 2SLGBTQ+ youth to be deadnamed or have their gender invalidated so taking time to ensure you have every students preferred names and pronouns can avoid making 2SLGBTQ+ students distressed or discouraged. Consider asking students to introduce themselves first or ask them to fill out a page about themselves including an opportunity to share their preferred pronouns or name.
Many students may have questions but are unsure or ashamed to ask. Letting your students know they can ask you anything can encourage and create a safe space for them to reach out. Take time to learn about different sexualities and gender identities to ensure you give correct and accurate information. If you want to go a step further sign up for our fall workshops!
Take the step to go even further and create a dedicated safe space for 2SLGBTQ+ students outside your classroom. A GSA helps 2SLGBTQ+ students know they are not alone and in fact, supported. This also helps 2SLGBTQ+ students find other 2SLGBTQ+ students and allies they can trust and bond with.