Why Begin in Elementary School?
As an intentionally K-12 organization, we understand the importance of beginning conversations about LGBTQ people and families in elementary school.
While many LGBTQ+-inclusive school supports begin in middle or high school, it is critical for elementary schools to establish a foundation of respect and understanding for all people.
These resources can help you bring LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion to your classroom, school or district:
- This resource on Elementary Visibility and Integration has best practices and recommendations to begin your advocacy
- Use the common-core standardized lessons from our Ready, Set, Respect! Toolkit to teach about bullying and bias, LGBTQ+ -inclusive family diversity, and challenging gender stereotypes.
Reading the Rainbow: LGBTQ-Inclusive Literacy in the Elementary Classroom to see how other teachers have successfully implemented LGBTQ+ issues into their curriculum.
- We recommend these Four Support for LGBTQ+ - Inclusive Schools: Comprehensive Policies, Supportive Educators, GSAs Clubs, and Inclusive Curriculum.
- Our Gender Triangle Education Guide has helpful definitions and reflection questions for students or adults to think about gender identity and expression.
Federal Policy Manager
State and Local Policy Manager
Sr. Operations Manager
Adrian's introduction to GLSEN began when working in a South Carolina children's museum, where he used GLSEN's school climate research to demonstrate the need for LGBTQ-affirming museum programming, policies, and practices. He left the museum world to obtain a Master in Public Health degree at NYU, where his research focused on sexual health, substance use, and queer identity development. While in school, Adrian was also fortunate enough to intern as GLSEN’s 2016 Summer Research Fellow. A year later, he officially joined the GLSEN Research Institute Team on staff to help put LGBTQ-focused education research into the hands of advocates around the country. At GLSEN, his research interests remain focused on LGBTQ+ youth health outcomes, as well as the experiences of LGBTQ+ students of color. Adrian also supports GLSEN’s international work, primarily by helping to advance research initiatives from our many NGO partners around the globe that work to support and affirm LGBTQ+ youth in schools. He is also a former college radio DJ and an avid gamer who will never turn down a good, complicated board game.
Senior Research Associate
Dr. Nhan Truong is a Senior Research Associate at the GLSEN Research Institute. He completed his Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His research interests include the school experiences of LGBTQ+ youth at the intersection of race, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as social psychological factors that are associated with health and mental health among LGBTQ+ ethnic minority populations. Dr. Truong has published his research in several peer-reviewed academic journals. He is a co-author on GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey reports and in a series of reports on the school experiences of LGBTQ students of color. Dr. Truong also co-leads a study on the experiences of students and advisors, with GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexual Alliances) at their schools. Before coming to GLSEN, Dr. Truong spent two years as an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Tougaloo College, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in Mississippi, and two years as a Research Scientist at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Mississippi that aims to reduce health disparities among marginalized populations. In his spare time, Dr. Truong enjoys participating in various fitness activities, such as hiking, running, and weightlifting. He is also a self-proclaimed tea aficionado.
Senior Research Associate
Caitlin (or Caitie) has a PhD in Developmental Psychology with a portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has experience teaching, evaluating, and conducting research in schools of all levels. Caitie’s research specialties include the experiences of transgender and nonbinary youth, LGBTQ+ youth in sports, and elementary education. Before GLSEN, Caitie worked as an Evaluation Analyst at the Austin Independent School District and she has taught at the undergrad and preschool level. Outside of work Caitie loves live music, attempting complicated and new recipes, and women’s soccer.
Director of Research
Dr. Joseph Kosciw is Director of the GLSEN Research Institute. GLSEN is recognized worldwide as an innovative leader in the education, youth development and civil rights sectors fighting to end bias-based bullying, violence and discrimination in K-12 schools and promote a culture of respect for all. For nearly two decades, the GLSEN Research Institute has supported the organization's mission by conducting original research on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in K-12 education and evaluating GLSEN programs and initiatives. The Institute also provides technical assistance to local GLSEN chapters and other safe school advocates in the U.S. who wish to conduct research on LGBTQ student experiences, and houses GLSEN's international initiatives which provide technical assistance to NGO and education leaders on LGBT issues in education across the globe.
Dr. Kosciw has a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University, a B.A. in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences and an M.S.Ed. in Psychological Services in Education from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Kosciw trained as a family therapist and has worked as a school counselor and psychoeducational consultant in elementary and secondary schools. He has been conducting community-based research for over 20 years, including program evaluations for non-profit service organizations and for local government. Under his leadership, GLSEN Research focuses on understanding the school experiences of all students, specifically as they are related to issues regarding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, the school experiences of LGBT parents, perceptions of educators and school administrators regarding school climate, and the utility of school- and community-based efforts regarding bullying and harassment and efforts to create safe and affirming learning environments. GLSEN’s research is widely used for education policy advocacy as well as commonly cited in public media regarding LGBT student issues and school safety.
Kosciw’s work has been published in diverse scholarly and practitioner journals, including the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the Journal of School Violence, and the Prevention Researcher. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of LGBT Youth: The Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Practice, Research, Policy, and Theory. He has also appeared on numerous national television and radio programs as an expert on LGBT student experiences.
In addition to his passions for community-based research, Dr. Kosciw is passionate about dogs, Eurovision, and Ukrainian pop music.
Senior Accounting Manager
Ashley joined GLSEN in 2005 as a Finance Associate to support the accounting processes of the GLSEN National Office and Chapter Network. Ashley's work in the non-profit sector began at the Huntington's Disease Society of America as the Chapter Operations Coordinator, working similarly with both the National Office and Chapter Network. Prior to that, Ashley has held positions at Credit Lyonnais and served as a legal clerk.
Youth Programs Associate
Onyx is a multi-talented artist, activist, writer, and model who dreams of using art to amplify their voice and produce positive social change. They were named GLSEN's Student Advocate of the Year in 2019 due to their work with GSAs and GSA coalitions. In their free time, they enjoy making clothes, reading, and playing classical guitar. They are now a student at Harvard University, a Point Foundation Scholar, and a GLAAD/Teen Vogue 20 Under 20 Honoree.
Rainbow Library Program Manager
Michael Rady (he/him) is a queer educator, organizer, and reader. Michael believes radical transformation is needed in American education to deliver equity for all learners, especially BIPOC students and LGBTQ+ students. Before joining GLSEN, Michael was a third-grade teacher, curriculum writer, and Senate education policy staffer. Michael’s involvement in LGBTQ+ inclusive education started when he was asked to lead the LGBTQ+ staff community group for a network of public schools in the Northeast. Interest in the group grew immensely: it increased to over 500 members, marched in pride parades, and transformed internal policies for LGBTQ+ staff and students. In 2018, Michael joined GLSEN’s Connecticut chapter to launch the Rainbow Library, a program that sends queer-affirming books to schools. Since then, the program has grown to thousands of locations in dozens of states. He sees the Rainbow Library not only as way to help youth access queer-affirming literature, but as a bridge to other LGBTQ+ supports and policy changes. Originally from New York, Michael currently splits his time between Nashville, Tennessee, where his partner and their dog, Reese, reside, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Michael is pursuing a Master of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Youth Programs Associate
Indie is a trans nonbinary queer neurodivergent artist. Their experience being a homeless queer/trans youth shaped their devotion to youth work and social justice. Indie has over 10 years of experience working directly with youth in various way, from case management with homeless youth to community organizing development of queer and trans students. They have a passion for making mediocre art and cuddling with their adorable fur-babies.
Senior Youth Programs Manager
a.t. furuya (they/them/ theirs) is a neurodivergent queer trans nonbinary Japanese American dedicated to Transformative Justice work toward liberation for those impacted by systems of oppression and violence. a.t. has been serving youth since 2000 as a middle school teacher, high school track and field coach, mentor, direct service provider, and advocate. They have provided consultation and training for school districts, schools, educators, mental health professionals, and families. They co-founded San Diego Trans Pride and Trans Youth Project and have supported movements with resources, capacity building, and investing in community care. a.t. is also very committed to their Japanese garden and eating ice cream.
Individual Giving Manager
Aubri Tuero is a development professional living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She holds a Master of International Service in Global Governance, Politics, and Security from American University in Washington, DC and a dual Bachelor of Art in History and Film & Media Arts from the University of Utah. Ms. Tuero is also a board member of Friends of Gilgal Sculpture Garden, working to preserve public art in Utah. In her personal life she enjoys taking her dog Vito to the park and discussing books with her Short Book Club.
Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager
Jacqueline Schweiger (she/her) is the Database Manager at GLSEN, where she processes and reports on donor and gift information. She has worked in nonprofit development for a number of years, including at GLAAD, the French Institute Alliance Française, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Jacqueline graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a master’s degree in Art Business from Sotheby's Institute of Art. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming laps, and spending time with her family.
Senior Major Gifts and Individual Giving Officer
Associate Director of Development, West
Ricky Carter (He/Him) is GLSEN’s Associate Director of Development, based in Los Angeles on Tongva, Kizh, and Chumash land. He joined the GLSEN family in July 2019 after seven years at GLAAD where he produced the GLAAD Media Awards, raised major gifts for the organization, and facilitated corporate partnerships. He started his career on the programs team as their Entertainment Media Intern and as a Field Intern for Equality California.
Ricky was born in Hollywood, FL and graduated from the University of Florida, where he was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame. During his time there, he helped transform their LGBTQ+ student life. As a teen, Ricky performed as his drag persona Sunset Marmalade in the local Rocky Horror Picture Show cast. His passions include all things pop culture, long distance cycling, dodgeball, and his adorable White Shepard Buffy (named after the title character of his favorite show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). His favorite musicians include Portishead, Japanese Breakfast, Madonna, and Perfume Genius.
Ricky decided to dedicate his life to LGBTQ+ causes after graduating from high school and loves that he has the opportunity to raise essential funds for the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders.
Senior Director of Development
Manager of Network Capacity Building
Pronouns: She/Her and They/Them
Growing up in rural Ohio, Lyndsey knew a more just, loving, and liberated world was possible, even if she didn’t understand how; as an adult they understand that building that world requires community, action, anti-racist practice, and a lot of humility. Using practical, learner-centered approaches, Lyndsey partners with organizers, artists, academics, faith leaders, and educators to facilitate practices that invite all to get more comfortable with discomfort in order to build solidarity and courage. Lyndsey brings nearly 15 years of anti-oppression training, program design, and coaching focused on growing queer liberation and reproductive freedom through multi-racial organizing centered in iteration, experimentation, and healing. They were one of the founding directors and board members of Nashville Launch Pad, a LGBTQ+ affirming emergency shelter for youth 18-24, and serves on the Board of Directors for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Lyndsey is southern by the way of y’all, perpetually curious, and camp kid at heart (with over 20 years working collaboratively to design camp and youth leadership experiences).
Community Mobilization Manager
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jamond has spent his career working to improve the cognitive, physical, and social-emotional outcomes for young people from cradle to career.
Most recently Jamond provided professional development and capacity building support to the Ohio Department of Education's 21st CCLC network. Additionally, he has served as Youth Development & Education Program Director for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Senior Manager for Community Strategies at StrivePartnership and as Technical Advisor for the YMCA of the USA.
As a trainer and skilled facilitator, Jamond has worked all across the country helping organizations, school districts, and municipalities build capacity while developing strategies to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity. In addition, Jamond is a multidisciplinary artist having worked professionally as a costume designer, actor, and writer. When he is not trying to save the world, he is busy working his most important job: Dad.
Deputy Executive Director for Programs and Power Building
Deputy Executive Director for Communications and Development
David is an accomplished and progressive marketing, communications and public relations professional with extensive experience in the multi-faceted for- and not-for-profit national and international arenas. Before GLSEN, he was the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the Tenement Museum where he was responsible for all communications, marketing, advertising, brand management, media and public relations.
Prior to joining the Tenement Museum, he was the Marketing and Development Director for New York City’s Chinatown as part of the post-9/11 revitalization efforts. There he oversaw the Explore Chinatown tourism marketing campaign as well as the production of events such as Taste of Chinatown and Lunar Stages to draw visitors back to the neighborhood.
He has provided unique and unorthodox marketing approaches to a diverse roster of projects and institutions including New York City, where he helped create the landmark “I Love New York” campaign, The Metropolitan Opera and GMHC and amfAR during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He has spoken nationally and internationally on public relations, multiculturalism and diversity marketing and outreach in Birmingham (UK), Vancouver, Washington D.C., San Antonio and London; and is an Adjunct Professor at the New School teaching Arts & Cultural Marketing and Introduction to Nonprofit Management.
Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research
Pronouns: He, Him, His/They, Them, Theirs
Aaron Ridings (he/they) is the Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research at GLSEN. He coordinates cross departmental initiatives and directly oversees the Research Institute and the Public Policy Office based in Washington, DC. He has advanced inclusive data collection and authored and helped pass policies in partnership with federal, state, city, county, school district, and tribal governments during his twenty year career in public service. His previous experience includes serving as the Associate Director of the LGBTQ+ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, Co-Chair of the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition, along with several other roles in LGBTQ+ missioned nonprofit organizations. He was a long-time aide to Multnomah County, Oregon Chair Deborah Kafoury and most recently had stints working for Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (KS-3). Aaron has a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University and lives with his partner in Washington, DC.