According to the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network’s 2013 National Safe Schools Survey, 55.5% of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, while 37.8% felt unsafe because of their gender expression. Additionally, 71.4% of LGBTQ students heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) frequently or often at school, and 90.8% reported that they felt distressed because of this language.
Educators are uniquely positioned to address these issues and work towards creating a safe, supportive and affirming school environment for LGBTQ students. Every student deserves the right to attend a school that fully embraces them for who they are and allows them to achieve to their full potential. Educators are a powerful force in creating an LGBTQ-affirming school.