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“I purchased and read “This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids”. It is excellent, of course. But what I really need for my teachers’ book club is a book entitled “This Is a Book for Teachers of Gay Kids”. DO YOU HAVE A BOOK TO SUGGEST? I’ve contacted GLSEN with little success.”

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

Anonymous! I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING.

Last month we went up to a conference in Massachusetts where we spoke to 70 high school guidance counselors about how to be better prepared for their LGBTQ students. Each one of them was given a copy of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids!

Even though the book is centered around the parent-child relationship, so so sooooooo much of what is in the book is relevant and helpful for friends, educators, co-workers, administrators, and employers of LGBTQ people! We cover so many questions that are relevant in homes as well as schools (from the more basic, ”Is it a choice?” and “Am I allowed to ask questions?” to the specific, “What do I do if they want to come out at school?” and “What is the difference between gender identity and sexuality?”), and the stories shared by young people help round out a better understanding of the complex experiences of LGBTQ humans!

My other immediate suggestion, since you already know about GLSEN, would be to reach out to the people at NYCoRE (New York Collective of Radical Educators). They have a smaller subset group called NYQueer, and they are very knowledgeable about how to help teachers “queer” their curriculums and be more inclusive in many, many ways. They have resources like reading materials for young kids, yearly planners with notes on historic days in LGBTQ history, and more. They rule, and I am certain they’d have some amazing books to recommend.

Also, remember this: reading about the lives and experiences of many queer and trans people, even though not specifically tied to educational practices, is very, very powerful. The biggest gap in teacher-student relationships as pertains to these issues is a lack of sensitivity, awareness, and understanding. If there is some flexibility in your book club, maybe you can pull a few articles on things like pronoun usage and the importance of gender neutral bathrooms, or watch videos together that cover things like bisexual awareness and the gender binary! Overall awareness will get your fellow teacher-friends in a place where they are being inclusive in their classrooms in extremely powerful ways.

Lastly! Dannielle and I have a goal this year of partnering with educators to help us create a teacher’s guide for This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, and to build out a teacher-specific section over on The Parents Project. If you have interest in helping us, let us know (email us at info (at) everyoneisgay (dot) com)!!

YAY FOR TEACHERS WHO ARE THE BEST ONES.
Beans, if you have more resources, reply with them!!!

xx

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