Safe Places by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August and Megan Kennedy made me think back to my days in high school and also think about experiences coaching. I am a slightly “older” collage student and had never even heard of gays or lesbians until I was in middle school. Even then our educators did not acknowledge it. I only learned about gays and lesbians from my fellow students who made fun of our female gym teachers. I wonder how my former middle school and high school now deal with the issue of sexuality as it is much more open in the public then when I attended school.
Several things stated in Safe Places made me stop and think how I treat and handle issues about LGBT students in the guard. I have always tried to make color guard a place where my kids can be themselves. Guard is an activity with many openly gay and lesbians students, teachers and judges. I have had a few gay and lesbian students students but never any transgender (or at least that I know of). The story about the student who was transgender and did not know what to do when the teacher said “If you are a girl stand up,” made me think about how I may handle certain situations in the future particularly with uniforms. If I have an all girl group I have never thought about having an alternative male uniform option for a student. I also never thought about wording things so if a student does identify as a transgender they would feel comfortable letting myself and their fellow members know.
Another thing that Safe Places made me think about was my History and Social Studies class. In my classes we talked about all sorts of groups and kinds of people, white, black, Hispanic, women, men, etc. but never anyone or any groups from LGBT community. If we did their LGBTness was not talked about. Sadly until I read this article I never thought about this before and how these students also need to see others who are like them out in the world and in our schoolbooks. I did not even know there is a LGBT history month!As someone who plans on teaching Social Studies I am extremely thankful to have read this article and have my eyes opened to the lack of LGBTers in our classroom so that I can make sure this does not happen when I teach.
Points to Share:
How do we as educators make sure that our classroom has both windows and mirrors or LGBT students when textbooks are so lacking in this area?
This was written by a gay man who say Flaggots at a parade. Flaggots is a LGBT color guard that performs in Pride Parades across the country.