"GLBT History Month sends an important message to our nation's teachers, school boards, community leaders, and youth about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history."
- George Chauncey, History Department, Yale University
Make the Invisible Visible - Talk about historical figures who were/are LGBT. Some of them are already part of your classes but some aren't. Talk about the importance of LGBT people and issues concerning sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. When talking about the Holocaust, why not include information about the Nazi persecution of LGBT people and the origin of the pink triangle? When talking about the social movements of the 1960s and 70s, why not include information about the Gay Rights Movement?
Make the Visible Visual - Put up bulletin boards, display cases and murals to recognize the contributions of LGBT people throughout history, including the GLBT History Month icons. You can download images and other resources here.
Diversify the Library - Check your library for materials that include information about LGBT people and history. If/when you find materials inclusive of LGBT people, talk to the librarian about creating a special LGBT History Month display.
Invite Guest Speakers - Work with your school to host a speaker from a local GLSEN chapter or community-based LGBT advocacy organization. Many have "speakers bureaus" whose members are trained to lead school-based workshops for teachers and students. Try to involve speakers of varying ages, if possible; youth can be particularly effective in reaching their peers, and LGBT elders can bring a broader historical perspective.
Sponsor a Contest - Start an essay, creative writing, or poster contest to raise awareness, Propose a contest question ("Why is it important to learn about LGBT history?" or "Why have LGBT people been excluded from the historical record?") or a theme ("Write a biography of an LGBT historical figure"; "Write a story centered around a quote from a famous LGBT person".)
Publicize Your Activities - Include information about LGBT History Month in your school newspaper, radio programming, and announcements. Notify your local media outlets; they can cover your school's plans for the month, interview participating students and teachers, or write a piece about your contest winners.
Hold a Movie Night - Stage a free after-school screening of a film about an important LGBT figure in history or an important moment in history such as Out of the Past or Out of the Silence. Hold an informal discussion after each screening. Don't forget to make lots of popcorn!
Go Beyond October!!! - October should not be the only time we discuss LGBT history. Think about ways to incorporate LGBT history, notables and issues throughout the school year.