LGBTQIA+ Pride Month
June 2022: NBPS "Friendship and Freedom" Newsletter
The month of June celebrates LGBTQIA+ Pride. This month was chosen in order to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held around the world during this month to recognize the positive impact that the LGBTQIA+ community has had on our society.
However, despite the strides that have been made in the name of inclusivity, a study conducted in 2020 showed that “LGBT people are nearly four times more likely than non-LGBT people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault.” (Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law) The impact on LGBTQIA+ youth is even more alarming, with 42% of LGBTQ youth stating that they have “seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year (2020), including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth” and “75% of LGBTQ youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their lifetime.” (The Trevor Project, National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2021)
In response, the State of New Jersey adopted Act 1569 in 2018 which “Requires boards of education to include instruction, and adopt instructional materials, that accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” In addition, the NJSLS Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards assert that it is our responsibility as educators to ensure that “all individuals should feel welcome and included regardless of their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”
In order to carry on the district vision to “Prepare, Empower and Inspire lifelong learners and leaders,” the Humanities Department has infused LGBTQIA+ voices and history throughout the Humanities curriculum. By reading books that celebrate these stories, such as Julian is a Mermaid in the early elementary grades and The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali in High School, our students are encouraged to be who they are, whomever they are. In addition, there are a variety of resources provided below that will assist you in sourcing instructional materials that both highlight the often silenced voices of the LGBTQIA+ community that align with content and can be integrated with themes that you are already teaching.
Best Practices to Support LGBTQIA+ Students
Search through curated text sets on Newsela around the topic of Pride Month.
Pair the QR codes with the appropriate portrait and students can read their biographies.