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Supporting

LGBTQ Youth in
High School
Creating a

SAFE SPACE:
What do you need from your
colleagues in order to feel safe and
supported?

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Jordan Matthews
Mission Statement

The mission of Jordan Matthews is to graduate


globally competitive, well rounded students by
providing a rigorous and relevant curriculum in
an effective, safe and nurturing environment

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Defining the
problem
× 59% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of
their gender, gender expression, or sexuality
× 34% miss at least one day of school per month because
they do not feel safe
× 75% avoid extracurricular school functions because they
do not feel safe
× 96% hear homophobic statements (“that’s so gay” or
“faggot”) at school

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Defining the
problem
Students
Students
LGBTQ students are half
cannot
are bullied as likely
focus on
to pursue
learning
higher ed

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Definitions
× Sex: male or female, assigned at birth
× Gender identity: Internal sense of self
× Gender expression: physical manifestation of gender
(clothing, hair, etc.) to match gender identity
× Cis(gender): One who identifies with the sex assigned
at birth
× Gender nonconforming: one whose appearance does
not align with cultural expectations of gender
× Transgender: person whose gender identity does not
conform with sex assigned at birth

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Definitions
× Queer: umbrella term for sexual and gender
minorities
× Ally: Someone who advocates for and supports a
community other than their own
× Heteronormativity: Assumption that
heterosexuality is the norm
× LGBTQ+: A collection of identities (lesbian, gay,
bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex,
asexual)
× Gender-fluid: Someone who does not identify as a
single fixed gender
× Homo/Transphobia: The fear or hatred of those
who are homosexual/transgender
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In pairs, discuss a
time….
when someone has said or spelled your name
incorrectly.
× Did you correct them? How did it feel?
× How did they respond?
× How would it feel if they continued to say the
wrong name?

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I need a volunteer...

Tell me about a great date you went on


with a significant other or a friend.

BUT...
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SHE MAN
HER WOMAN
HE
HIS

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The Village
Wrabel
Born This
Way
Lady Gaga
Turn to a neighbor...
× How did the messages about life in the LGBTQ community differ
between the two videos?

× How would you guess that educators have treated each of these
students?

× What can our school do to help LGBTQ students feel more like
Lady Gaga than Wrabel?

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So, how can
I help?

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Staff actions
Safe Space Encourage GSA Examine your biases
participation
In the first week of school, Look inward, see where you
create classroom norms to Just having one makes holde prejudice, and ask
make everyone feel students feel safer, yourself how you can work
included regardless of their personal through it with your
participation students

Use inclusive language Use diverse media Stand up to bullying


Ya’ll, students, scholars, Let students see people If you see something, say
that look like them during something
partner, significant other
classroom activities.

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Thanks!
Any questions?
khalpin@chatham.k12.nc.us

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References
Erenhalt, J. (2016). Being there for nonbinary youth. Teaching Tolerance.
https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/summer-2016/being-there-for-nonbinary-youth

GLSEN. (2014). Dept of Ed.: Title IX Protects Trans Students. Retrieved from https://www.glsen.org/article/dept-ed-title-ix-protects-trans-students

Hyun, J.H., Raff, R., Trier, B. (2012). Helping transgender youth [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from
https://www.wa-schoolcounselor.org/files/transgenderpresentation.pdf

Holley, L. C., & Steiner, S. (2005). Safe Space: Student perspectives on classroom environment. Journal of Social Work Education, 41(1), 49-64.
doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.5175/JSWE.2005.200300343

Human Rights Campaign (2018). Glossary of terms. Retrieved from https://www.hrc.org/resources/glossary-of-terms

Ioverno, S., Belser, A. B., Baiocco, R., Grossman, A. H., & Russell, S. T. (2016). The protective role of gay–straight alliances for lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and questioning students: A prospective analysis. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 397–406.
https://doi-org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.1037/sgd0000193

Kahn, E., Johnson, A., Lee, M., Miranda, L. (2018). LGBTQ youth report [PDF file]. Retrieved from
https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/2018-YouthReport-NoVid.pdf?_ga=2.34457447.794025128.1544404876-1974224483.1544
404876

Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Zongrone, A. D., Clark, C. M., & Truong, N. L. (2018). The 2017 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN.

Orr, A., Baum, J.S. (2015). Schools in transition: A guide for supporting transgender students in K-12 schools [PDF file]. Retrieved from
https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/Schools-In-Transition.pdf

Petellier-Lubarsky, J.P. (2018). Non-Gender Specific Dating Conversation. University of Southern California Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender
Resource Center. Retrieved from https://lgbtrc.usc.edu/education/activities/

Trans Student Educational Resources. LGBTQ+ definitions. Retrieved from http://www.transstudent.org/definitions/

Wood, K., Kissel, B., & Miller, E. (2016). Safe zones: Supporting LGBTQ youth through literature. Voices from the Middle, 23(4), 46-54. Retrieved
from
http://libproxy.lib.unc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/docview/1788221417?accountid
=14244
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