Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

In the Classroom

  • Integrate LGBTQ+ topics in the classroom i.e. incorporate LGBTQ+ community leaders in discussions, current events that include LGBTQ+ issues, etc.
  • Use LGBTQ+ inclusive language: be clear with your students that homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions are not acceptable and will be addressed in an educational, informative, and non-threatening manner.
  • Ask about gender pronouns in introductions, check in each semester, and make it an ongoing practice to refer back to gender pronouns.
  • Maintain confidentiality with the confines of your professional responsibilities- create a space where students can talk comfortably about their experiences, but be careful not to “out” a student.
  • Incorporate pronouns into your email signature, syllabus, ePortfolio, or other platforms that you are introducing yourself to your students
  • Make a statement like the following on your syllabus: “My name is [faculty name]. My gender pronouns are [gender pronouns].”

Specific Suggestions for Working with LGBTQ+ Students of Color:

  • Affirm complex identities: LGBT students of color may feel conflicted about acknowledging all parts of themselves and struggle in their efforts to combine their racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, sexual and gender identities.
  • Support student resilience: recognize and affirm all parts of their identity and the internal resilience and resources they possess.
  • Intervene and protect: be prepared to intervene appropriately when bias-based incidents occur and take proactive steps to create and sustain a healthy and respectful school environment.

Additional information can be found at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Check out a great handout from the Safe Zone Project on the “Coming Out Process.”