June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month! This celebration is all about taking a positive stand against violence and discrimination directed at the LGBTQ+ community and promoting the dignity, equal rights, community building and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Talking about Pride Month with students sends clear and essential messages for all students to learn: diversity is important, all sexual orientations and gender identities are valid, and human rights are of the upmost importance. These lessons help combat prejudice, reduce bullying and create a safer and more inclusive school environment for all students. 

Before broaching this subject, it is imperative to set some guidelines. Some students may feel more comfortable and knowledgeable discussing this topic than others.  

Respect Diversity

Students and the people they know may differ in sexual orientation and gender identity. Be mindful of your word choice and intervene if you hear harmful language. Use this opportunity as a teachable moment and explain why.

Everyone is learning 

It's important that students (and adults!) understand that it is okay to ask questions if they are not knowledgeable about a topic. Consider creating a suggestion box for your classroom that allows students to ask questions or express their thoughts anonymously. 

Respect boundaries

Sharing is completely voluntary. No one has to share any personal information unless they want to.

Be mindful of others' privacy

Do not “out” others without their consent. Encourage students to use examples in this manner: “I know someone who is gay” rather than “My cousin is gay.” 

Build Inclusive and Safe Spaces

In Boston, CYPride is a group that seeks to build community, and foster learning and self-reflection. They serve to support City Year AmeriCorps members who identify under the LGBTTQIA+ umbrella and to create a community where they can feel supported, challenged, and motivated.

"I want the group to continue to be an inclusive and intentionally intersectional space, a group that has a positive and long lasting impact on City Year," said Aja, AmeriCorps Member Support Coordinator for City Year Boston. 

Across the network, our City Year AmeriCorps members are collaborating with their teammates and schools to build more inclusive and safe spaces for our students, corps and staff.  Read more:

City Year Philly: AmeriCorps members Support Project Safe Zone

City Year Milwaukee: Living Inclusivity

City Year Denver: LGBT History Month

City Year Chicago: Having Conversations to End Name Calling

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