Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

Posts tagged lgbtq

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msnbc:

Rachel Maddow reports on an expected executive order from President Obama that would bar discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of Americans working for federal contractors.


Posting here as a matter of education because many people still believe that there are no real reasons for pushing for LGBTQ rights; that marriage is our only issue; that people have opinions and those are all we have to contend with.

msnbc:

Rachel Maddow reports on an expected executive order from President Obama that would bar discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of Americans working for federal contractors.

Posting here as a matter of education because many people still believe that there are no real reasons for pushing for LGBTQ rights; that marriage is our only issue; that people have opinions and those are all we have to contend with.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

Filed under lgbtq education

33 notes

It’s Pride Month.

I’ve seen a delightful mix of things going around, and if you’re looking for resources, you can check out the LGBTQ tag both on this blog and in general.  I’m actually not as familiar currently with the great LGBTQ blogs out there in tumblr-land at the moment, but I’ll repost any that come my way.

And remember, when the debate over allies’ place in the community pops up as it is wont to do: Allies are not the emcee.  Allies are the techs making sure the mics are working so that LGBTQ folks’ voices are heard when (we/they) speak.  If you are an ally and find yourself asking why there isn’t more focus on allies, please ask yourself why you are an ally, what you get out of it, what your purpose is as an ally, what you feel you should get out of it, and again, why you are an ally.

As always, my ask box is open (and anon available) if any questions pop up that I can be of help answering!

Filed under education lgbtq I work with youth and I'm queer

128 notes

nigga-shark-deactivated20140809 asked: can you explain the pronouns "Ze, Hir, Hirs, &c." because my teacher hasen't taught us the concept and I am curious

girlwithalessonplan:

It’s not something normally taught in school, and it hasn’t breached the national lexicon, so your teacher may not know about it. 

You’re asking about pronouns that are gender neutral.  The English language does not have gender neutral pronouns for PEOPLE.  “It” is used for animals and inanimate objects.  “They” is neutral plural for anything.

So:

She/He/Ze

Her/Him/Hir

Hers/His/Hirs

They/zey

Mrs./Mr./Mx.

Tumblr has been the one place where I have seen this usage used consistently and accepted and understood in the lexicon and code of this space.  The gender neutral pronouns are great because in some cases, it improves English (especially because “they” as a gender neutral singular is contradictory and wrong***) and it is inclusive to people in the queer community who are gender fluid, nonbinary, questioning, or transitioning.

Hope that helps! 

***by “wrong” I mean according the rules of Standard American English. Adding new words solves the issue.

Thanks to GWALP for adding a qualification when I noted the issue with They.

I mentioned it because I have several friends who personally prefer ‘they’ as their chosen pronoun, as opposed to hir or ze (or yo or other innovative vocabulary).  And, while on some level it is considered grammatically wrong, there are many circles who consider the singular they as appropriate, sometimes even seen in academic texts.  But more importantly in this particular situation, if ‘they’ is a person’s chosen pronoun over hir or ze or others, it’s important to respect that when addressing them. 

While adding new words solves the potential grammatical issue with a singular ‘they’, particularly in situations (such as how GWALP uses them frequently) where there is no assumed or stated gender of the speaker, when interacting with an individual who has stated a pronoun preference of they, being more or less grammatically ‘wrong’ is not an issue that applies. 

I just wanted to reblog and elaborate as it seems that this is a very new concept for many people, which is awesome that they’re being introduced to it, and I just wanted to clarify that issue so that no one accidentally polices in a well-meaning (“you could use (hir/ze), it’s better”) way.  I personally know individuals who use ze as well as individuals who use they.  It all depends on the individual being addressed.

Filed under It's a mixed bag I use she but also answer to he education lgbtq gwalp girlwithalessonplan gender

53 notes

carvaskull asked: hi! I'm a non-binary English Education major who's going to student teach next year. you answered a question about teaching students about ze/hir pronouns, which happen to be the ones I use. do you think it would be safe/alright to ask my students to use those (and a gender-neutral honorific like "Mx.") to refer to me? I'm really worried about catching flak for my pronouns/gender identity when I start teaching.

girlwithalessonplan:

"Mx."  Is a new one to me!  How is that pronounced phonetically? 

I don’t see it as any different than introducing yourself on the first day.  “Hi everyone I’m Mx. Smith.  That’s right I said Mx. because that’s how I like to be addressed.  If you want, you can just call me Smith.”  And then cover ze/hir later.  (Also, referring to teachers as last name only is common where I teach and not seen as disrepectful.) 

Like, I was pretty emphatic about “Miss” before I became married, not Ms.  Whereas other female unmarried teachers are adamant about Ms. 

However, that’s a much safer distinction to make as a cis female.  You need to feel out your host teacher on this one.  Ze will know the environment better to know if it’s safe for you to do that in the school. 

I hope that was a little helpful. 

As someone who falls in the grey genderqueery area myself and would rather use Mx. than Ms. any day of the week, My advice would be to discuss it with your mentor teacher before anything else and read it from there. It’s also important to remember that ultimately, they have the final call in the classroom — and if they themselves find this objectionable, it may not only be difficult to find a way for students to understand the concept depending on the area and background, but also difficult for you to be successful in the classroom with the mentor teacher if said mentor will not give you respect in regards to your pronouns and preferred form of address.

Am I saying stay in the closet, re: gender? Noooo no no. I’m saying whatever you do, tell the mentor teacher before you tell the students. I would say this with anything from pronouns to telling stories about your cat to suggesting a classroom activity. Always tell the mentor teacher before the students; never surprise the person in charge of the classroom and your evaluations. That also removes surprises for you. If there’s going to be “flak” from the mentor teacher before you even get into the classroom, you want to know before you’re, for personal example, a month and a half into the semester and being told you really need to start wearing clearly gendered clothing and sending more standard gender messages because the kids are asking too many questions and you’re confusing them.

If they take issue, it will give you time to discuss this with your supervisor at school, with professors you trust, etc. It will give you time to figure out how to address it both with the professionals and the students. It may be that some environments may not be easy (or even safe) to work in while maintaining your gender expression, as a student or as a licensed professional, and it will be a lesson in feeling out where is and isn’t and learning how to maneuver in less ideal situations.

And if they’re totally cool with it, it may give them an opportunity to share ideas with you about how to address it. Heck, maybe it’s something they’ve already done with their kids before and they already have advice as to how to make it go smoothly.

Filed under Hope this doesn't offend It's my perspective as someone who isn't exactly binary who has been there teaching is complicated gender is complicated adults are complicated sometimes moreso this way than the kids are kids can be more willing to learn education lgbtq best case and worst case girlwithalessonplan sorry for hijacking

377 notes

everyoneisgay:

The Parents Project is real thing that is really happening.
AKA, the site is up!

Our first handful of posts and our brand new design just went live moments ago - and we are so excited to share it with you all! We will be working over the next few months (and then to infinity and beyond!) to continue to build the essays, advice, stories, and more, and to work out any and all of the tiny bugs that will arise in these first few weeks.
We cannot thank all of you enough for supporting us and helping us begin this resource for so many parents who need guidance and support. 
Stay tuned as we add many new resources, and follow us on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram!!

I’ve seen some of the material that’s on the site, and think it’s a helpful tool to have on hand for parents, youth, and other involved adults alike.

Filed under lgbtq education resources

24,850 notes

diversityinya:

According to People magazineOklahoma teens Katie Hill and Arin Andrews, who are transgender and were in a relationship with each other during their transitions, will share their stories in two memoirs to be published Sept. 30, 2014, by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. The book covers, revealed today, are above.

Katie Hill told People"I don’t want this book to just appeal to transgender people or their allies. I want people to understand that there really is no such thing as normal."

(via christina-in-alaska)

Filed under ya lit mental health lgbtq education gender trans*

24 notes

randallh227 asked: I've been thinking about this for a while and I've come to the point where I've formulated a bunch of pros and cons for doing this and I thought that it would be a good idea to message an educational blog and get perspectives from actual teachers. I am LGBT and want to be a high school teacher. My question is: would it be a good idea to come out to my students or not?

girlwithalessonplan:

teamteachers:

Aaaaaaand while I do sponsor an LGBT club, I’m going even going to try to lend my straight voice to this discussion.

I’m going to throw this out to my LGBT readers to pipe in.  I have some LGBT teacher followers that are out, so they can share their experiences.

Go, LGBT readers, go! 

Cross posting to my main blog.

This is the kind of decision that is difficult to make before you get to that time and place, because everything has context, and because often we make plans but being in the spot to do them feels very different from what we’d imagined.

I’ve been in placements where there were other out teachers, even in a subtle way, and it wasn’t a big deal.  I’ve also been in places in which I wasn’t allowed to use a picture book with same-sex parents in the grand scheme of a family unit in a class in which a child had two mommies.  The places where we feel it is needed most can be the places where it is the most dangerous to us.

So here is my advice to you:

Get a feel for where you are.

Get to know your students.

Decide whether being out is a state of being for you or an action or event, and decide whether it is for you or for them.

If it’s an action or event, think about whether it’s necessary to your students’ getting to know you.  Is it about the fact that you’re LGBTQ?  Is it more that you want to be able to talk about a spouse without fear?  Is it to be a role model or to be more open in general?

My advice would be — if you’re going to be out, make it a state of being and not an event.  By that, I mean, do so through ways that feel natural to you and to the kids - by mentioning or having a photo of a spouse, by connecting to or talking about an experience that is relevant to them as your students.  Does it have to be specifically about being LGBTQ? Not even.  It could be about being called this or that or the emotions around hiding or coming out or learning who to trust — but it could also just as easily, just as easily be a matter of telling a story about a funny thing a partner did once, or how you totally relate to having a broken heart or wanting to talk to your girlfriend boyfriend etc. all the time in the halls because you want to talk to your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/partner/etc. all the time too but everyone has to focus.

If you’re going to be out to your students, make it natural, and that will make it meaningful.  It may not be something that even occurs to everyone right away but I can guarantee you that the students who need you will know, and that if there is ever a time where you need to pull off the glasses and the suit jacket and be the superhero in a moment of homophobia, transphobia, cis- or heterosexism, that you will be more ready if you are natural about who you are than if you either put it out first thing (where some students or parents or staff may read it as a political statement and, then, anything you say thereafter on the subject as such) or hide it entirely, unless you have to do so for your safety.

And that’s the other thing — put your safety at the forefront of your considerations.  Please.  We want you to work with your kids for a long time. 

Filed under education lgbtq randallh227 teamteachers girlwithalessonplan

20 notes

It’s National Coming Out Day!

This is your annual PSA: coming out should be a personal choice — whether it’s when, to who, where, how, or why — and should be respected.

How can you celebrate National Coming Out Day?

Be proud of the ones you love if they are out today.  Love them.  Celebrate them.

Be proud of the ones you love if they are not out today.  Love them.  Celebrate them.

Be proud of the ones you love if they are out to some but not to others, if they are out at work but not at home or out to their parents but not to their uncles or aunts or out to their teachers but not to their Math Club or if their boss knows but their coworker doesn’t.  Love them.  Celebrate them.

Acknowledge that being out or not being out comes in a thousand shades and in-betweens, with more reasons for each than we can count, and that a person is neither good nor bad for any one of them.

Have conversations with yourself and others about how we can all create environments in which people feel safe being who they are.

Do not disrespect people who don’t feel they can, or have to, or want to, be out.  Take issue with conditions that make it unsafe for those to do so, whether the risk is losing friends and family, losing housing, losing jobs, losing a feeling of physical safety, or losing one’s life.

For many people, being “out” is an act of bravery.  For many others, being “out” is not an option.  For some it is just a natural state of being and for others it’s a nonsequitor to the rest of themselves.

Never sacrifice an individual for the sake of their struggle; give them love, support, and understanding to aid in it.

On National Coming Out Day, celebrate progress, think about how to work toward making it safer for those who aren’t out to be so if that’s what they want, and above all, respect people regardless of whether they are or aren’t.

Filed under lgbtq national coming out day

75 notes

adcouncil:

glsen:

LGBTQ youth! Have you taken GLSEN’s 2013 National School Climate Survey? Did you know that it’s the only national survey to examine the educational experiences of LGBTQ youth, and that it’s used to inform education policymakers and the public about the right of all students to be treated with respect? Learn why it’s so important in this video, and please take the survey now! www.glsen.org/2013survey

Please help spread the word about this survey!

Hey all —

If you’re LGBTQ and in school and you’re reading this, if you feel comfortable doing so, please take this survey.  I can vouch for the fact that educators, administrators, researchers, rights advocates, and mental health professionals alike — sometimes even politicians and related groups, individuals, and institutions — often look to this survey for a picture of the school experience and environment for students who are LGBTQ.

They may not know what’s really happening if people don’t tell them.

So, again, if you feel comfortable doing so, go ahead and follow the link.  It’s one of a few different regular surveys from a few different organizations that lead to reports that are meant to help us make positive changes in our schools (and other environments) for people who are LGBTQ.

Filed under education lgbtq

12 notes


First of all, kudos for taking that leadership position AND that initiative.  It’s a tricky one that involves tackling a lot of potentially sensitive issues, and not everyone is up for that challenge.
Leadership and initiative are always good qualities, and ones to highlight on a resume.  However, as you said, no matter how proud we are of who we are and what we’ve done and what we’ve stood for, we need to recognize — whether with preventative action or just bracing for the consequences — that not everyone will appreciate it.
I have three separate resumes: 
One lists my work (founding & president) with the LGBTQ group on campus very straightforwardly. 
The second lists my position vaguely — as a co-founder of a student support organization, and senator in the student government.  This is the perfect middle ground if you’re in a situation where you’re not sure whether the alphabet soup will raise red flags (in my case, for elementary positions versus middle grades or general youth positions).  You can still outline some of your skills and achievements in a context that will allow you to talk about the positive traits you can bring to the classroom, like being aware of diversity and student needs, organizing, being pro-active, handling paperwork, etc., without taking that risk that whoever sees the application may shuffle it aside for fear of toying with sensitive subjects.
The last doesn’t list it at all, for those situations where I know that it could outright lock me out of a position (i.e., when I was applying to a school in a very, very Christian small town in the south).  Sometimes introducing those issues slowly will be fine, but if you do a quick google search of the location and “LGBTQ” and end up with news articles about it being one of the “least gay-friendly places in the state,” it’s better to protect yourself.

Some people may be wondering why you’d even apply in a situation where you can’t put this on your resume and be “honest” — but there are so many misconceptions, prejudices, and discomforts, especially still in the teaching field.  While planning for and teaching about diversity in the classroom in general is something to be encouraged, there are many out there that feel that even considering LGBTQ populations in all this means that someone is out to “convert” the children or destroy religious and cultural institutions or a whole host of other things.  And, while someone may be dedicated to supporting all students of all backgrounds, highlighting work with topics of sexuality and gender sometimes seems to send the message that this is your overarching “agenda,” even when that is not the case.

Above all, do your research before you apply anywhere, just like you would with any other issues to see if somewhere is a good fit.  If the school you’re applying to has a GSA or similar organization already, it might be safe to keep similar clubs as-is on your resume.  If you think it might be a touchy subject in general — and/or it isn’t necessarily something others might think would (or “should,” though that’s a whole other subject) come up in your position (for example, there is a general misconception that LGBTQ issues shouldn’t come up at the early elementary level because it means you’re talking about sex for some reason) — or the district or area has a spotty record with issues regarding the LGBTQ community, try something more neutral.

And, if there are legal battles over questionably-fired staff or turned heads over anti-LGBTQ bullying, weigh your decision carefully.  For some people, that reads as a challenge, an opening to really “make a difference” to youth who may need support in a hostile environment.  For others, it may read as too hostile to risk, or too much to work against as one person on the inside, or more than they would be able to cope with.  Everyone is different, and there is absolutely no shame in knowing that you are one or the other.

First of all, kudos for taking that leadership position AND that initiative.  It’s a tricky one that involves tackling a lot of potentially sensitive issues, and not everyone is up for that challenge.

Leadership and initiative are always good qualities, and ones to highlight on a resume.  However, as you said, no matter how proud we are of who we are and what we’ve done and what we’ve stood for, we need to recognize — whether with preventative action or just bracing for the consequences — that not everyone will appreciate it.

I have three separate resumes: 

  • One lists my work (founding & president) with the LGBTQ group on campus very straightforwardly. 
  • The second lists my position vaguely — as a co-founder of a student support organization, and senator in the student government.  This is the perfect middle ground if you’re in a situation where you’re not sure whether the alphabet soup will raise red flags (in my case, for elementary positions versus middle grades or general youth positions).  You can still outline some of your skills and achievements in a context that will allow you to talk about the positive traits you can bring to the classroom, like being aware of diversity and student needs, organizing, being pro-active, handling paperwork, etc., without taking that risk that whoever sees the application may shuffle it aside for fear of toying with sensitive subjects.
  • The last doesn’t list it at all, for those situations where I know that it could outright lock me out of a position (i.e., when I was applying to a school in a very, very Christian small town in the south).  Sometimes introducing those issues slowly will be fine, but if you do a quick google search of the location and “LGBTQ” and end up with news articles about it being one of the “least gay-friendly places in the state,” it’s better to protect yourself.

Some people may be wondering why you’d even apply in a situation where you can’t put this on your resume and be “honest” — but there are so many misconceptions, prejudices, and discomforts, especially still in the teaching field.  While planning for and teaching about diversity in the classroom in general is something to be encouraged, there are many out there that feel that even considering LGBTQ populations in all this means that someone is out to “convert” the children or destroy religious and cultural institutions or a whole host of other things.  And, while someone may be dedicated to supporting all students of all backgrounds, highlighting work with topics of sexuality and gender sometimes seems to send the message that this is your overarching “agenda,” even when that is not the case.

Above all, do your research before you apply anywhere, just like you would with any other issues to see if somewhere is a good fit.  If the school you’re applying to has a GSA or similar organization already, it might be safe to keep similar clubs as-is on your resume.  If you think it might be a touchy subject in general — and/or it isn’t necessarily something others might think would (or “should,” though that’s a whole other subject) come up in your position (for example, there is a general misconception that LGBTQ issues shouldn’t come up at the early elementary level because it means you’re talking about sex for some reason) — or the district or area has a spotty record with issues regarding the LGBTQ community, try something more neutral.

And, if there are legal battles over questionably-fired staff or turned heads over anti-LGBTQ bullying, weigh your decision carefully.  For some people, that reads as a challenge, an opening to really “make a difference” to youth who may need support in a hostile environment.  For others, it may read as too hostile to risk, or too much to work against as one person on the inside, or more than they would be able to cope with.  Everyone is different, and there is absolutely no shame in knowing that you are one or the other.

Filed under education lgbtq resume ask shapefutures caitology