As we start this new school year, we are reminded that not all educational experiences are created equal. While OutFront Minnesota has made significant progress in expanding queer and trans rights in our state already this year, we still receive emails and calls every week from students, educators, and administrators who do not feel safe or prepared in their schools. From districts disregarding pronoun usage, to not providing appropriate bathrooms, to the physical and mental safety of queer and trans youth, it is clear there is work to be done.
During the 2020-21 school year, OutFront Minnesota Youth Researchers carried out work across districts 625 (Saint Paul Public Schools), 152 (Moorhead Schools), 196 (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools), and 11 (Anoka Hennepin Schools) to focus on queer and trans rights in learning environments. The group pushed out survey and interview requests to students and staff with a central focus being towards transgender, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary students.
With their efforts, they created a gender inclusion Zine and podcast, a gender inclusion policy Action Toolkit, and compiled an additional resource list. A gender inclusion policy articulates a district’s planned approach to accommodating the needs of transgender and gender-nonconforming students and outlines steps of an action plan to address and remove gender inequities within a school or school district
With your support, we will continue these efforts as well as our community trainings to increase understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, expand our Gender and Sexuality Alliance network to support educators, and seek out young leaders for our Youth Council to help move us towards LGBTQ+ equity and liberation for years to come.
We know safe schools for queer and trans youth mean suicide prevention, better mental health, and increased educational outcomes. Join us to create this future of liberation and equity together.
You can help us create better schools for our queer and trans youth with a gift today.