At Pierce College, we strive to be an inclusive campus where all identities are affirmed. To that end, we offer Safe Zone and Trans* Ally training to students, faculty and staff.
Recommendations to Make Your Classroom LGBTQ Inclusive
(adapted from the CSUN Pride Center csun.edu/pride)
For students, it is important to feel safe, especially in the classroom. Regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, students have the right to learn in a healthy and safe classroom environment.
Set the tone of the classroom beginning with respect and inquiry. Establish classroom guidelines that will set a respectful environment where everyone can participate without fear or hesitation. Everyone should be referred to by their chosen name and chosen pronoun.
On the first day of class have students introduce themselves instead of calling roll. Often when the roster is read aloud for attendance, transgender students don’t feel comfortable disclosing in front of the entire class. Make an announcement at the beginning of class and inform students that if they go by a different name other than the roster, to speak with you after class or email you.
During class introductions have students share pronouns. Allow students to choose the name and pronouns they want used inside the classroom. Please use the student’s chosen name and pronoun the student may give you. If you aren’t sure of a person’s pronoun, ask, or refer to them by their name only. Assuming someone’s pronoun can lead to possible misgendering and further ostracizing students.
If you make a mistake about someone’s pronoun, correct yourself. It is important and polite to provide the correct information whether the student is present or not. Allowing the mistake to go untreated can cause repeated offenses and uncomfortable interactions.
There are many Pierce students who identify outside of the gender binary of woman/man. Students may identify as genderqueer, genderfluid, or a number of other gender identities. Be aware of language and try to use inclusive language within the classroom, such as welcome students (instead of ladies and gentlemen). In addition, many transgender students may not be sure which group they belong to, based off of others perceptions.
Include LGBTQ issues on your syllabus and help your students learn to talk about issues of gender identity and sexual orientation respectfully and understand the importance. State on your syllabus that discrimination will not be tolerated within the classroom and everyone’s gender and sexual orientation is valid. Include a nondiscrimination statement on the syllabus, which includes gender identity and sexual orientation.
Example: “I strive to maintain a classroom for students that is free of all forms of discrimination and harassment based upon race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, physical or mental abilities, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a U.S. veteran. Any student who has concerns with inappropriate behavior in the course should contact me as soon as possible to correct and enhance the student experience.”
To request a LGBTQ awareness presentation, email Shannon Krajewski, College Professional Development Coordinator at email@example.com.
Additional resources can be found here:
CSUN Pride Center
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Phone: (818) 710-2588