LGBTQ+ History Cards

LGBTQ+ History Cards


GLSEN LGBTQ+ History Cards


GLSEN’s LGBTQ+ History Cards feature icons and events that have greatly impacted the LGBTQ+ community in contemporary history. As demonstrated through GLSEN’s research, we know that inclusive curriculum is a critical part of fostering safe and affirming learning environments for all students. We hope this deck allows students to see themselves reflected in the stories of influential LGBTQ+ leaders and events that are too often erased in history curriculum.

You can purchase your own deck of LGBTQ History Cards at the GLSEN shop.




This deck can be used in a variety of activities to learn more about the often-erased history and legacy of LGBTQ+ people. Here are some ideas:

  • MUSICAL CARDS - Look through the deck and select cards that best fit your students’ understanding and interests, while being sure they still represent a wide range of identities and topics. Pass one card face up to each student and then turn on some music. Instruct students to pass the cards around the classroom until the music stops and everybody freezes! Ask students to pair with someone near them, flip over their cards, and discuss why the icons or events are significant

  • GUESS WHO? - In pairs, students choose an icon card and play “Guess Who?” One student picks an icon and the other asks questions to figure out which icon it is, but only with “yes” or “no” answers. This can also be done with the class taking turns guessing as a group. You may want to give students copies of the extended bios from the virtual card deck online, too.

  • LGBTQ+ VENN DIAGRAM - Students choose two cards and create a Venn diagram to show how the icons are both similar and different. Encourage them to consider identities, location, era, and impact. Then they can present to the class!

  • LGBTQ+ BULLETIN BOARD - Allow students to choose one card a day beginning the first day of October, LGBTQ+ History Month. Each day, read info and go online to learn more about the person. Display the card on a bulletin board to create a “Display of LGBTQ+ Icons”

  • MAKE YOUR OWN HOLIDAY - Have students choose a card and create a holiday for the icon:

  • MAKE YOUR OWN MEDAL - Students draw a medal or certificate for the icon they choose, detailing why they are being celebrated, and present it to the class.

  • WRITE A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - Students each choose a card. They use the short card bio and longer website bio to create a newspaper article about their life. For icons who have passed, they can speak about their impact while alive, and the legacy they left behind.

  • CREATE A PLAYLIST- Students each choose a card. They use the short card bio and longer website bio to create a playlist that embodies the figure. They can consider the time period the figure is from, themes from their life, or simply imagine the type of music they think the figure might like  to select 5-10 songs for a playlist. Students can also give their playlist a fun title and create “album art” to go with it!