Deepen Your LGBTQIA+ History Knowledge with These Readings | Facing History & Ourselves
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Deepen Your LGBTQIA+ History Knowledge with These Readings

Our list of Facing History readings offer unique insight into little known stories and unsung heroes from the LGBTQIA+ community.

The history of the LGBTQIA+ community spans across centuries and cultures. Learning these stories and hearing these voices is important—all the more so because the dominant narratives in textbooks have largely left out the struggles and triumphs of LGBTQIA+ people and how their experiences intersect with other social justice movements.

8 LGBTQ Upstanders You Should Know

8 LGBTQ Upstanders You Should Know

These LGBTQ individuals fought for recognition, challenged unjust legislation, and organized movements.

Exploring and lifting up LGBTQIA+ history also helps to challenge stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination that persist today. Data from the CDC shows that young people experience better outcomes in academic environments that are LGBTQIA+ inclusive. “Schools can help address the adolescent mental health crisis by implementing policies and practices that support LGBTQ youth. CDC research shows that inclusive practices benefit LGBTQ students and heterosexual students, with heterosexual students seeing greater benefit in some risk categories.”

Connecting to the broader historical context of all people and cultures helps everyone—from young learners to adults—to better see the complexities of the human experiences and grow to be more understanding individuals. The intersections between sexuality, gender, race, class, and other social identities shape and influence everyone, and knowing more about how these intersections factor into the lives of the LGBTQIA community can foster a more inclusive and equitable society.

Facing HIstory has curated the following list of readings for anyone interested in discovering more about LGBTQIA+ history and delving into particular moments and perspectives that inform this history. 

Resources for Additional Learning

How One Lesbian Couple Defied the Nazis: An Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Jackson
Dr. Jackson discusses the story of Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe, a French lesbian couple who intervened in the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands through the creation of art. 

Learning from GLSEN
Founded in 1990 by teachers, the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) helps to create support for LGBTQIA+ youth. 

Brother Outsider: Remembering Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin lived his life as an openly gay Black man and civil rights activist. He was an enthusiastic public organizer and the chief architect of the historic March on Washington.

Centering Queer History and Students in the Classroom: Insights from Eric Marcus
Eric Marcus speaks with Facing History about his experience researching LGBTQIA+ history and how he helps students connect to these stories.

Exploring Audre Lorde’s Intersectionality
Audre Lorde was a Black lesbian scholar, feminist, mother, and poet who challenged us to think about the intersectionality of politics and identity.

Teaching While Queer: One Teacher on Being Out in the Classroom
Facing History educator Emily Haines discusses what it's looked like for her to bring her full identity into the classroom.

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