While many students have heard about some events in LGBTQ history (such as the Stonewall Riots or the activism, political career, and assassination of Harvey Milk in San Francisco), many significant people and events in the history of the LGBTQ rights movement are often underrepresented in textbooks and K-12 curricula. In this lesson, students will learn about LGBTQ history spanning from the Roman Empire to the year 2016 by participating in a human timeline activity. The activity uses resources created by GLSEN, a national organization dedicated to ensuring that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students have access to a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.
By examining the broader sweep of LGBTQ history, this lesson helps students put people and events into more meaningful context. This lesson also gives students the opportunity to consider whose experiences are included in the history taught in schools, whose are often left out, and how that may reflect and perpetuate the “in” groups and “out” groups in our society. Over the course of this lesson, students will practice important skills such as summarizing, inferencing, and presenting material orally as they learn about LGBTQ history and reflect on how that history is represented in their textbooks and curricula.