LGBTQ-Inclusive and Supportive Teaching:
The Experiences of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ Educators
GLSEN’s research brief LGBTQ-Inclusive and Supportive Teaching: The Experiences of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ Educators provides an examination of teachers’ LGBTQ-inclusive and supportive practices and the barriers teachers face to engaging in strategies to support LGBTQ youth. The brief discusses the experiences of LGBTQ teachers and non-LGBTQ teachers, using data from a national sample of secondary teachers from GLSEN’s From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited and Millersville University’s National Survey of Educators’ Perceptions of School Climate.
This brief reviews findings that show, overall:
- Half of teachers engage in at least one LGBTQ-supportive practice
- Three-quarters of teachers face at least one barrier to engaging in LGBTQ-inclusive and supportive practices
LGBTQ teachers were more likely to:
- Engage in LGBTQ-affirming and supportive teaching practices
- Report barriers to engaging in LGBTQ-affirming and supportive teaching practices from external sources such as (1) backlash from the administration, parents, and community and (2) fear for their job security
In addition, many LGBTQ teachers fear job loss simply because of their LGBTQ identity. As of June 15, 2020, LGBTQ identities are recognized as a federally protected class, making it illegal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in all 50 states, territories, and Washington D.C. Though LGBTQ teachers are now protected from the threat of being fired for coming out at school, they still may face school climates that are hostile and unwelcoming, which in turn can impact their LGBTQ-inclusive and supportive teaching.
The brief concludes with recommendations for improving school environments for LGBTQ teachers and LGBTQ youth so that both can thrive and succeed.