In 2016 after ten years of being an elementary school classroom teacher I made the switch to be GLSEN’s Education Manager. I’ve been in the unique position for the past three years to be responsible for tracking, working with, supporting, and listening to supportive educators, many of whom identify as LGBTQ and all who do this work from a deeply personal and strongly-held conviction that the respect and affirmation that LGBTQ people deserve does not end when they walk into a school building. I’ve been floored, time and time again, by your strength, your determination, your willingness to continue doing the critical work of increasing LGBTQ visibility in schools.
GLSEN research shows that LGBTQ teachers are more likely to engage in LGBTQ-Supportive practices such as “supporting students 1:1” and “displaying signs of support” like rainbow flags or safe space stickers. Over the years GLSEN has collected and shared messages and stories of out LGBTQ educators:
While coming out day is often centered on our first realizations of LGBTQ identity, our internal considerations and the beginning of sharing our true selves with those closest and most trusted around us, out LGBTQ educators know a longer journey. We know we have the responsibility of considering our coworking relationships, our administrators’ views, school and state policies, along with the bonds with our students and their families. There are several stages to being able to bring your whole self to work as an adult in schools, and I don’t take any part of that journey for granted. Wherever you are, by being in schools and being there for your students, you are making a difference.