The question I want to explore for my Genius Hour project is this: “What can we, as teachers, do to support LGBTQ students in our classrooms?”  (Side note: There are many different acronyms and terms to describe this multi-faceted and diverse community; I am choosing to use “LGBTQ” since it seems to be the most familiar for most people.)

Ever since Diane Sawyer interviewed Bruce Jenner before he (the pronoun he requested be used until he completed his public transition) revealed Caitlyn to the world, I’ve had countless conversations with my family, friends, and Facebook connections about trans issues, trans awareness, and trans acceptance.  As a straight, cis woman, I fully acknowledge that I will never be an expert on the subject.  What I can be is an ally.

Since students in the middle grades are either beginning to go through puberty or are in the full throws of it, gender and sexuality issues are prevalent concerns in the middle school.  Teachers must know how to make all of our students feel welcome, accepted, and safe in our classrooms.  In consideration of that fact, I specifically want to research ways teachers can make LGBTQ youth feel like they are just as welcome, accepted, and safe as their straight, cisgender classmates.

In order to answer my question, my first step will be (as always) to go to my handy friend Google.  Through Google, I’ve found several Twitter accounts to follow, such as @HRC@ACLULGBT, and @GSANetwork.  I’ve also located the hashtags #lgbt, #lgbtq, #pride.  I’ll also comb through the UGA library for helpful resources.


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