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LGBTQ Community

Cultivating Pride: Support for LGBTQ+ Teachers

Resources that help create more informed and inclusive learning spaces for LGBTQ+ teachers.

Teach For America Supports LGBTQ+ Educators

By Alexzandria Cormier-Hill

March 6, 2020

As an incoming Corps Member, you’re preparing to transition into a new region, a new classroom and overall, a new life! If you identify as an LGBTQ+ teacher, it’s understandable that you may be concerned about whether or not you’ll have legal protections in your community and how your identity will be embraced.

Before submitting their preferred regions, many of our LGBTQ+ corps members like you inquired about the level of information and support they’ll receive from Teach For America and their partner schools. To address those questions, we’ve compiled a list of legal aids, advocacy groups and TFA resource networks to help provide support and information for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or non-binary leaders.

LGBTQ+ Legal Projections

When you’re considering your preferred TFA regions, it’s important to understand the policies and legal projections (or lack thereof) in that area. You never know how different legislation can hinder or enhance your quality of life and those you love. Here are some resources that help break down legal protections for the most pressing issues from our LGBTQ+ community. 

Legislation Maps

These maps track local and state legislation that protects LGBTQ+ rights ranging from housing, education, healthcare, public accommodations, employment, marriage recognition and more. 

Legal Education and Assistance: 

These organizations can provide legal aid for you as well as clarify any litigation, legislation or policy that addresses issues that impact LGBTQ+ community.

National Advocacy Groups

If you’re looking for peer support, join a network or need information about changes that impact the LGBTQ community such as legislation trends, case studies, new initiatives, etc, here are some good places to start. 

Education- and Youth-Focused LGBTQ Networks

We want to support LGBTQ+ students and teachers hone and embrace their identity, especially when they spend the majority of their days in class. These resources can help create safe spaces within your school and allow LGBTQ+ community members to show up braver, brighter and confident in any room without fear, discomfort or intimidation. 

  • GLSEN is an education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools. They have several popular resources for educators such as startup guides and activities to use in your school and safe space toolkits for first and secondary students. 

  • The Center for Black Equity is committed to supporting leaders, institutions and programs that promote equity for the LGBTQ+ community of African descent.

TFA LGBTQ+ Community Resources

LGBTQ+ Community Initiative

Teach for America’s created the LGBTQ+ Community Initiative as a means to cultivate culturally responsive, LGBTQ+ inclusive, and community-responsive environments where we serve. Students of color, those from low-income areas, and those who identify as LGBTQ+ face oppression based on their multiple identities. Teach For America is committed to safety, fairness, and dignity for all students and educators alike.

LGBTQ+ Brave Education Summits

Through education, Teach For America’s LGBTQ+ community along with our allies and partners strive to increase visibility, inclusion, and support for LGBTQ+ students and educators from all backgrounds.

Early admitted corps members are invited to attend the Brave Education Summits in the fall. In partnership with regional and national partner organizations, the LGBTQ+ Brave Education Summits offer corps members and alumni the opportunity to engage in learning and development and receive resources to support LGBTQ+ students and educators.

TFA PRISM

The Teach For America LGBTQ+ PRISM networks represent brave affinity groups comprised of corps members, alumni, staff, community members, and students, working jointly to advance Teach For America’s vision: “One Day ALL children in this nation will have an opportunity to attain an excellent education.” 

We extend the work from our national initiative to regions who are best able to work alongside LGBTQ+ and allied partners in their area to advance educational equity. We believe that this effort is as true for our LGBTQ+ educators and leaders as for anyone. Namely, It is critical that we work bravely to ensure equity and inclusiveness is true for countless LGBTQ+ students in communities we serve.