| By Elizabeth Mohn |
Students are more likely to be engaged and interested in current events when they understand the context of those events. Educators can help students contextualize current news stories by teaching about the past. June is LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States, and educators can help students better understand Pride Month and LGBTQ activism by teaching about their history.
Teachers will find numerous resources in the updated LGBTQ Pride Month portal that will help students understand the commemorative month’s history and its influence. Students can start their investigation of the topic by reading the overview to learn about LGBTQ Pride Month’s origins and evolution. They will learn that the modern celebration has its roots in the famous Stonewall Uprising that occurred in New York in 1969.
Students who want to know more about the origins of LGBTQ Pride Month can access the video “The Stonewall You Know Is a Myth. And That’s O.K.” This video from the New York Times tackles and corrects persistent myths about the Stonewall Uprising by interviewing people who participated in the uprising and historians who study LGBTQ history. The video will not only help students better understand specific details about the uprising but also will help them understand that history is complex, and first-person sources help ensure the accuracy of historical accounts.
Educators can also help students learn about modern LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations so they can understand how the LGBTQ movement has changed since the 1970s. Students can learn about the evolution of the movement from one person’s perspective in an article about the ways Pride Month changed over time. They can also read the articles “Organizers Who Are Honoring Pride in Small Towns” and “As Brands Keep Wading In, It’s Time to Ask: Is Pride for Sale?” These articles will help students better understand that people who celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month do so in different ways and with different motivations.
Another way for students to understand the history of LGBTQ activism and the Pride Month celebration is to learn about the activists who influenced them. Students can read the biographies of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, who participated in the Stonewall Uprising, in the LGBTQ Pride Month portal. They can also learn about the history of the wider LGBTQ movement by accessing the new Alan Turing and Ellen DeGeneres portals. In the Alan Turing portal, students will learn about Turing’s significant contributions to the field of computer science and the discrimination Turing and others experienced because of their identity. They can learn more about how Turing’s legacy has changed over time by listening to the audio clip “Alan Turing Turns 100.” Students who want to learn about more contemporary LGBTQ history can access the Ellen DeGeneres portalto discover how DeGeneres influenced how popular culture portrayed LGBTQ individuals. They can learn more about the portrayal of LGBTQ individuals in pop culture, and specifically on television, in the article “LGBTQ+ Representation on Television.”