Exploring LGBTQ+ Equality

6 min read

| By Elizabeth Mohn |

LGBTQ+ equality and rights are prominent topics in the United States and other places around the world because June is known as Pride Month, during which people of different backgrounds learn about LGBTQ+ history and educate themselves about the current events impacting LGBTQ+ communities around the world. Gale In Context: High School has numerous resources to help teachers and students learn about current events, historical issues, and important figures who have influenced and continue to influence LGBTQ+ equality.

The LGBTQ+ Community

Teachers and students can begin exploring LGBTQ+ equality and rights with the resources available in the LGBTQ+ Community Equality portal, whose overview helps readers better understand the history of LGBTQ+ people’s rights and the obstacles many groups have faced in gaining equal rights and treatment. Readers will also learn how community equality has been different for different groups of people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and how these rights are different in different places at different times. The timeline in the overview helps readers understand how community equality has changed throughout U.S. history. The portal also includes numerous other resources to help students learn about LGBTQ+ community equality. For example, the article “Americans Support LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Laws” can help readers understand current attitudes about LGBTQ+ community equality in the United States.

Different groups in the LGBTQ+ community face challenges and obstacles in attaining equality and rights. The rights of transgender people has been a widely discussed topic in the United States in recent years, as states are passing many laws that limit the rights of transgender Americans of all ages. The updated Transgender Equality portal has numerous resources to help students understand issues affecting the transgender community. Teachers and students can begin their exploration of the portal by reading the Transgender Equality overview, and they can then read the Transgender Community and Activism overview to better understand the obstacles transgender Americans have faced and organized to overcome. After learning about the transgender community and its history, students can access resources that teach about ways American society has changed—and not changed—since the mid-1900s regarding transgender rights. For example, this audio broadcast gives insight into the views and experiences of three transgender Americans of different ages. Their experiences, thoughts, and insights will help students understand the contemporary and historical challenges faced by transgender Americans. Another audio broadcast, “The Midterms Lead to a Number of Firsts for Transgender Lawmakers,” gives insight into changes in American society, as it explains that transgender politicians have won an unprecedented number of seats in recent elections throughout the country.

Contemporary Issues

Students interested in learning more about an important contemporary issue facing members of the LGBTQ+ community can explore the updated LGBTQ+ Marriage Equality portal. They can access resources, such as the article “How We Got Marriage Equality,” that describe the historical fight for marriage equality in the United States. The portal contains resources that give insight into what could change regarding marriage equality in the United States.

LGBTQ+ History

In addition to containing numerous resources about contemporary issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, Gale In Context: High School has many resources for students interested in the history of LGBTQ+ rights and equality. For example, they can learn about a significant event in the history of LGBTQ+ rights through the Stonewall Uprising portal. The overview gives readers a broad understanding of the uprising, the people who participated, and its lasting effects on American society. Students can learn more by accessing the videos, audio broadcasts, images, articles, and other resources available in the portal. For example, they can read the article “The Push for LGBTQ Equality Began Long before Stonewall” to learn about groups and individuals who fought for equal rights before the Stonewall Uprising helped usher in a new era of advocacy. Students can access this article to learn about the lasting effects of the Stonewall Uprising. This biography of Sylvia Rivera, a Latin American LGBTQ+ rights activist who famously played an essential role in the uprising, can help readers better understand one of the individuals crucial to the uprising. This photograph illustrating the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march—which was a commemoration of the uprising—can also help students understand the lasting effects of the event.

Students can access numerous resources about Pride in the updated LGBTQ+ Pride Month portal. For example, they can listen to this audio broadcast about religious groups participating in Pride celebrations. 

Famous People

Teachers and students may be interested in learning about LGBTQ+ rights and equality by learning about famous individuals who have fought against discrimination and persecution. For example, the Audre Lorde portal includes many resources about the famous African American writer and activist whose identity as a Black lesbian helped influence her work and inform her activism. Teachers can guide students to read the overview to learn about Lorde’s life and work. The portal also has a link to the Poetry Foundation’s website about Lorde, where students can learn more about the author and read her poetry.

The Harvey Milk portal is helpful for students interested in important figures who fought for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Students can learn about Milk’s life, activism, and tragic death through the overview and numerous other resources. They can also learn about Milk’s legacy in the portal. For example, this Washington Post article explains that the U.S. Navy named a ship after Milk, even though Milk was forced to resign from the organization when he was alive. Students can see a picture of the U.S. stamp portraying Milk that the government released in 2014, decades after his death. 

Students might be interested in the Oscar Wilde portal, where they can learn about the author who faced discrimination for his relationship with another man. They can read about Wilde’s life in various resources available in the portal. Students can also access one of Wilde’s most-famous works, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by listening to the book in a recording or by reading a version on the Project Gutenberg website.

Gale In Context: High School has numerous resources about LGBTQ+ equality that will help teachers and students better understand a topic that’s important and noteworthy in June―and all year long.

About the Author

Elizabeth Mohn is a writer and an educational content developer. When she’s not reading or writing, Elizabeth is usually spending time with her family, listening to podcasts, or working in her garden.

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