‘Ask Me’: What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know
College and university teachers and staff don't often get a chance to hear from LGBTQ+ students about their specific needs. Listen to these students talk about what they want teachers and staff to know about them.
(A transcript of the video above is available here.)
Suggested Syllabus Verbiage for Faculty:
MPC is an open campus offering services and programs to all members of our community, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexuality, political view or any of the other personal differences, choices and philosophies that make us a diverse and vibrant community of learners. As such, your experience in this course should be welcoming, inclusive, and productive in a manner that celebrates our common aspirations, as well as the many differences that define us as individuals. Should you anticipate or encounter any instances or circumstances that concern you in this regard, or that leave you feeling marginalized, disrespected or mistreated as a member of the class, please bring these to my attention immediately. Success is our common goal, and it is something we can accomplish only when we all work together as an eager and accepting learning community.
For information about these and additional campus resources and services visit mpc.edu/lgbtqia
Vocabulary Extravaganza (via SafeZoneProject.com):
Vocabulary is essential to understanding and exploring LGBTQ issues and identities. Often times folks use specific identity labels to find community and a sense of connection with others who feel and understand identity similar to their experience of identity.
Part of speech, whether a word is a noun, verb, adjective, etc. is an essential part of vocabulary. This is because for a number of words (ex. queer, gay, and trans*(gender) they should only ever be used as adjectives and never as nouns. Adjectives modify the person whereas nouns may feel they reduce that person down to that identity. Adjectives, therefore, are always a bit safer to opt for.
This definition of terms is ever-updating and changing, as is the cultural use of these terms.
Pronouns: A Resource (via GLSEN.org):
Why focus on pronouns?
You may have noticed that people are sharing their pronouns in introductions, on name tags, and when GSA meetings begin. This is happening to make spaces more inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people. Including pronouns is a first step toward respecting people’s gender identity, working against cisnormativity, and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders.
How is this more inclusive?
People’s pronouns relate to their gender identity. For example, someone who identifies as a woman may use the pronouns “she/her.” We do not want to assume people’s gender identity based on gender expression (typically shown through clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms, etc.) By providing an opportunity for people to share their pronouns, you're showing that you're not assuming what their gender identity is based on their appearance. If this is the first time you're thinking about your pronoun, you may want to reflect on the privilege of having a gender identity that is the same as the sex assigned to you at birth.
Tips for Gender-neutral Language:
• If you feel comfortable, introduce yourself with your pronouns as a model. For example: “Hi, I’m Anjelique. I use she/her and they/them pronouns” or “I’m Milo, and I use they/them pronouns.”
• Practice, practice, practice! Use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they” and “ze” while visualizing the person who uses them.
• Whenever possible, take the lead from the transgender and GNC students and educators in your school, especially during the planning stages.
• Welcome feedback, and be ready to make adjustments as you continue to make your spaces more inclusive: “If you have any feedback for us on how to make this GSA a more welcoming space for transgender, gender nonconforming and gender non-binary people, please let us know!”
• When addressing groups of people or people whose pronouns you haven’t been told, use gender-neutral language such as, “friends,” “folks,” “all,” or “y’all,” rather than “guys,” “ladies,” “ma’am,” or “sir.”
More information for Creating Safe and Inclusive Classrooms available at: www.glsen.org/educator