Sunday, October 2, 2011

Talking Points #3

ADL, GLSEN and StoryCorps Create LGBT History Resource Unheard Voices

“LGBT people have played an integral but often untold role in our collective history, and GLSEN research clearly shows that the positive portrayal of LGBT people, history and events in curricula has a positive impact on the entire school community and helps teach students respect for difference.”
            An important point made through this quote is that all people are influential.  Regardless of their race, gender or sexuality – everyone can make a difference.  It would be ridiculous to think or teach that there was no one who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered throughout history.

"According to GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey of more than 7,000 LGBT students, less than a fifth (17.9%) reported that LGBT-related topics were included in their textbooks or other assigned readings. When asked whether they had been taught about LGBT people, history or events in school, a vast majority (86.6%) of students reported that these topics were not taught in any of their classes, and only 11.7% of students were exposed to positive representations of LGBT people, history or events."
Out of the entire reading, I was most angry about this - however, I'm not at all surprised.  All throughout my high school years, students were rarely educated about anything LGBT related.  Come to think of it – never once was anything LGBT mentioned in the classroom.  There was one club in my high school called the Gay Straight Alliance. This club wasn’t even created until my sophomore year of high school and my high school has been around since the 40s.  How can anyone expect our future generations to be tolerant if we can’t embrace and educate students about those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered?

“Conversely, the GLSEN study indicates that in schools with positive representations of LGBT topics in the curriculum, LGBT students were less likely to report hearing homophobic remarks or experiencing victimization at school, and more likely to report that school personnel and their peers intervened when homophobic remarks occurred”
            I think that this should be a goal for all schools and educators.  We wouldn’t allow a student who was of a different race or gender than the majority to be bullied because of these things that they can’t change.  Everyone should have the same learning environment - a safe and accepting one.

In class I would really just like to bring up and ask what everyone's experiences in high school were like in relation to GLSEN.  One of my childhood friends is lesbian and was never bullied or judged in my high school.  But I'm always hearing the high percentages of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students being bullied. This article can be found at

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