Thank you for being one of the thousands of visitors to Back To Your School in the week since our launch. We’re part of a strong movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults and straight allies. We’re making it safer and easier for LGBTQ and questioning youth who are sitting in the same school chairs where we once sat.
If you’re ready to go back to your school, there are a number of ways you can start.
We’ve heard from LGBTQ adults who have placed calls to every school in their old school district, those who have offered to organize a panel of LGBTQ alums to speak and answer questions at their high school , and those who have contacted their school’s gay-straight alliance to be a mentor to the students involved.
Some steps could include:
1) Call the principals of your elementary, middle and high schools. Introduce yourself as an LGBTQ alum or straight ally alum of the school, and ask what the school does for LGBTQ and questioning youth. Tell the principal that, as a former student and as an adult who cares about your community, you know how important it is that schools have gay-straight alliances, anti-bullying policies, and faculty/staff trainings on issues facing LGBTQ youth.
2) You can direct schools to any of the very comprehensive resources below:
GLSEN’s Anti-Bullying Resources for Schools
The ACLU’s Safe Schools Project
The Trevor Project
3) Be sure to tell your schools that you’ll be staying involved, telling other alumni, and following up… then do it!
4) If you are interested in doing more, ask your old schools if they would consider having you, or a panel of LGBTQ alums, speak. You can organize a few alums to sit on a panel together, asking each other questions about what it was like to be out, in the closet, or just coming to discover your sexuality in school, and where your lives have gone in the years since you graduated.
5) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, identifying yourself as an LGBTQ alum of the school district. Share a memory or two of your time in school, and call on readers to be involved in changing the climate for LGBTQ and questioning youth in school today by advocating for gay-straight alliances, robust anti-bullying policies, and faculty/staff trainings on issues facing LGBTQ youth.
The most important thing to remember is that, as an LGBTQ alum or straight allied alum, you know these schools best. We each have a unique contribution to make, and we can start with just a phone call.
There are only 140,000 schools in the United States, and millions of LGBTQ adults. Let’s make sure every school hears from its LGBTQ alumni this year!