LGBTQIA+ Resources from Facing History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 16, 2021

UpdatedLGBTQHistoryAndWhyItMattersBannerCropped1800_605pxIt is Pride Month again this June and a great time for educators to ensure that LGBTQIA+ histories and experiences are centered throughout the year. Below are a number of Facing History resources that can help educators explore these themes with confidence and curiosity. These resources include on-demand webinars, exclusive expert interviews, classroom lessons, and reading lists for both adults and young people.

On the Importance of Teaching LGBTQIA+ History

On-Demand Webinar with Eric Marcus
The Stonewall Riots and Harvey Milk may have become more widely known in US History, but do your students also know about the Lavender Scare, Edith Eyde, Deborah Johnson, and Zandra Rolon? Too often, important events and people in the LGBTQ civil rights movement are left out of textbooks. What happens when we integrate the missing voices of the LGBTQ community into our classrooms and curriculum?

Watch this webinar to hear from Eric Marcus, host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast. We explore the importance of teaching and learning LGBTQ history to create a more inclusive and equitable picture of US History, reflect student identities in the history we teach, and inspire future Upstanders.  

Interview with Eric Marcus
This blog post features a follow-up interview to the on-demand webinar noted above in which Eric Marcus shared some of his most essential insights about the importance of teaching and learning LGBTQIA+ history, as well as the impact on students with those identities.

Lesson: LGBTQ History and Why it Matters
By examining the broader sweep of LGBTQ history, this lesson helps students put people and events into more meaningful context. This lesson also gives students the opportunity to consider whose experiences are included in the history taught in schools, whose are often left out, and how that may reflect and perpetuate the “in” groups and “out” groups in our society. Over the course of this lesson, students will practice important skills such as summarizing, inferencing, and presenting material orally as they learn about LGBTQ history and reflect on how that history is represented in their textbooks and curricula.

Brother Outsider: Remembering Black Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin

On-Demand Webinar
In this webinar, we discuss how to use the documentary Brother Outsider to explore Bayard Rustin’s identity as a gay man of color trying to affect change in the twentieth century, his work as the organizer of the March on Washington, and his legacy in the civil rights movement today. 

Described as an ‘unknown hero’ of the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin was the openly gay African American civil rights activist who served as the chief organizer of the historic March on Washington. But why is Rustin so often omitted from the pantheon of African American leaders we learn about in school and pop culture—and how can including his story enrich our understanding of black and LGBTQ history? This post explores these questions.

Tools for Serving LGBTQIA+ Students

Interview with Harvey Milk High School 
Harvey Milk High School was the first high school in the world designed for LGBTQIA+ students when it opened in New York City in 1985. We spoke with two Harvey Milk staff—clinical social worker Tanya Koifman and social studies teacher Natalie Velazquez—about some of the unique challenges facing LGBTQIA+ students today, the depth of resilience their students exhibit, and strategies educators can use to engage LGBTQIA+ students everywhere.

Reading Lists

New Books on LGBTQIA+ History and Life - 2020
Includes 6 titles released that provide new perspectives on this community’s history, its unsung heroes, the history of gender-neutral pronouns, and the intersection of sexuality and gender identity with other dimensions of identity. 

New Books on LGBTQIA+ Histories and Life - 2021
These 5 new books address a host of themes including the unique life journeys of queer individuals with intersectional identities; the campaign to establish same-sex marriage and some of its broader consequences; and how schools can be reshaped as transformative spaces that support LGBTQIA+ youth.

New YA Books with LGBTQIA+ Narrators - 2021

The following 5 new YA titles address themes spanning activism, young love, school bullying, immigration, and navigating family relationships from the perspectives of a diverse array of LGBTQIA+ narrators.


Facing History and Ourselves invites educators to use our on-demand webinar Brother Outsider to prepare to teach students in the classroom.

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Topics: LGBTQ

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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