WHEN QUEER EDUCATORS BREAK THE SILENCE IN K-12 SCHOOLS
The Out Teacher Project is dedicated to amplifying and sustaining the voices diverse LGBTQ+ educators working in schools to advance more inclusive and equitable schools, that are free of homophobia, racism, sexism, ableism, and discrimination of any kind. We believe that through storytelling we are able inspire others and change communities. We know that schools have not always been welcoming and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students or educators, and yet we have persevered. Our hope is that by telling our stories, in a variety of ways, that we can begin to change the conversation (maybe even just start it!) around the powerful ways that LGBTQ+ educators make a difference in the lives of young people as they teach for social justice. These stories of struggle and triumph, pain and joy, filled with laughter and tears, will capture the experiences of LGBTQ+ educators that are so desperately needed to change the narrative and in the struggle for a more just society. Our goal is that these stories will empower others, create systems of support and solidarity among LGBTQ+ educators and youth, and impact our school communities.
SHARE YOUR STORIES
There are many ways to take action and participate in The Out Teacher Project, all of which are key elements to how we change the narrative around LGBTQ+ educators in schools. Have a look at some of the opportunities to get involved below, and get in touch for more information about how you can join the movement!
SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO STORY
Your Story Matters! Stories have the power to change mindsets, people, and communities. Here you can upload your video testimonies, stories of joy, struggles, impact, radical inclusion, of breaking the silence in schools to create more just school cultures. Through the act of storytelling, we imagine possibilities, we inspire change, and we affirm our humanity. These video enthnographic stories are needed as we advance more queer visibility in schools.
TAKE THE SURVEY
The voices of LGBTQ+ educators working in schools have been ignored for too long. Our experiences, needs, and and hopes for the future matter and should be captured to influence how policy is made, schools are organized, and structures of support are designed. Take the survey about your experiences in schools as a queer educator working with young people and share your experiences.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE ARCHIVE
There are many ways to tell a story. As we capture and reclaim our history as LGBTQ+ educators working in schools, we add to a growing archive of resources to support others on their journey to being their full selves in schools. Here you can upload personal narratives, images, lesson plans, units, letters from students or families, creative writing, poetry, artwork, music, or anything you can think to add to the LGBTQ+ Educator Archive.
THE PROUD EDUCATOR NETWORK (PEN)
The Proud Educator Network (PEN) seeks to transform schools by supporting the practice of LGBTQ+ educators. We advocate for the freedom of teachers, principals, paras and other school professionals to authentically express their gender identity and sexual orientation in workplaces that are safe and supportive. Through storytelling, networking and action-based research, we educate ourselves and others to dismantle structures that limit the freedom of queer practitioners to be themselves with students and families. By liberating educators to be LGBTQ role models and by entering into solidarity with other marginalized groups, we seek to create schools in which teachers are more effective and students are learning to celebrate the rich diversity of human experience in an inclusive, pluralistic society. Located in New York City, PEN brings together teachers, principals, counselors, paraprofessionals and other school personnel, offering a supportive, safe community where reflection on the intersection of gender identity, sexual orientation and professional practice is possible.