Be a better ally to LGBTQ+ colleagues

Trendy hipster Hispanic college age girl is smiling while sitting at tabe in library with group of friends. Students are working in study group to prepare for exam while using laptop computers, digital tablets, and other technology.

LGBTQ+ educators must navigate complex social, political and legal landscapes that vary from state to state, town to town and even school to school. Local laws and policies may restrict their educational practices, silence their voices and suppress their identities—creating conditions in which isolation, invisibility and oppression can thrive.

Teachers subjected to these conditions have access to fewer resources and are less likely to support LGBTQ+ students. Your allyship can provide desperately needed support, inspire hope and spark meaningful change!

Here’s how to make early childhood education a safer, more welcoming and more supportive profession for your LGBTQ+ colleagues:

Stay informed.

  • It can be draining and discouraging for LGBTQ+ educators to stay up to date on the latest news about anti-LGBTQ+ hate, transphobia, harmful legislation, and hate crimes. So don’t rely on them to keep you informed. Follow local, national and global news coverage to stay informed about LGBTQ+ issues.
  • Learn about the laws, policies and events that may affect your LGBTQ+ colleagues.
  • Check out these resources.

Be proactive.

  • Seek out professional development opportunities that address LGBTQ+ issues in early childhood education, encourage your coworkers to sign up for these opportunities and share your knowledge with coworkers who can’t attend. Find professional development opportunities here.
  • Think critically about the policies and practices at your early childhood education site and ask yourself how you can help make them more welcoming and responsive to the needs of your LGBTQ+ colleagues.

Be a change agent.

  • There’s strength in numbers! Rally your coworkers and start a schoolwide awareness campaign to raise your collective “Pride I.Q.”
  • Show your support with Pride flags, posters, signs, and displays.
  • Advocate for more inclusive books, activities and materials. Find ideas and inspiration here.
  • Challenge gender stereotyping whenever you see it.
  • Use your voice and your vote to show support for LGBTQ+ people. 
  • Contact your legislators about hateful and discriminatory bills.

Build bridges.

  • Make an effort to get to know your LGBTQ+ colleagues. 
  • Acknowledge your colleagues’ family members and invite them to school events.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of small acts of kindness. Ask how your LGBTQ+ colleagues are feeling and consider what you can do to brighten their day.