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Resources for High School Teachers & Curriculum Specialists ... 
Classroom Resources (
books, curricula, videos, and music)

Also see lesson plans on this page.
This page was last updated on 02/21/12. If you know of errors please click here to let us know.


Recommended LGBT-Positive Titles for BC Schools: a list of recommended books and resources by Glen Hansman, Vancouver BC School Board Antihomophobia & Diversity Consultant. Addresses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender issues that schools are encouraged to have in their collection. All of these are suitable for classroom and library use to address the prescribed learning outcomes in Personal Planning K-7, Language Arts, Social Studies, Health & Career Education K-7 and 8-9, Planning 10 - or any effort to make your school a affirming space for all students, staff, and families. (pdf format)

Becoming Visible: A Reader in Gay and Lesbian History for High School and College: by Kevin Jennings, 1994, Alyson Books. ISBN: 1555832547. Drawing from both primary and secondary sources, this reader covers over 2,000 years of history and a diverse range of cultures. Each selection is followed by questions that could be assigned to students, and suggestions for classroom activities. 

Dramatic Changes: Talking About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with High School Students Through Drama: by Paula Ressler, 2002, Heinemann Drama. ISBN: 0325004145. "Teachers need no drama background or extensive knowledge about sexual orientation and gender identity to use this book. Each chapter provides an introduction to the type of drama presented-from simple role plays through complex and extended pieces-along with educational objectives, rationales, resources, and materials needed."

Free Your Mind: The Book For Gay, Lesbian, And Bisexual Youth And Their Allies: E. Bass, 1996, Harper Perennial. ISBN: 0060951044. Gay and lesbian teenagers relate their experiences regarding the discovery and acceptance of their sexual orientation. Includes suggestions for coping with prejudice, political and religious issues. Families, counselors and friends should read this book, too. NY: HarperCollins.

She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders: by Jennifer Finney Boylan Page, 2003, Broadway Books. ISBN: 076791404X. Vickie Countryman, Director of Equity at Spokane Public Schools, says, "This is an excellent book for those [high school students and adults] who want more info, or who would like to have a better understanding of transgender/transexuals as well as a resource." She's Not There is a memoir of a man named James who became a woman named Jenny. As the book jacket says, "[Bouillon] explores the remarkable territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships and rejoices in the redeeming power of family."

When the Drama Club Is Not Enough: Lessons from the Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students: by Jeff Perrotti and Kim Westheimer, 2001, Beacon Press. ISBN: 0807031305. Part concrete advice, part inspirational story-telling by two remarkable educators and activists. Includes a wonderful chapter on race and gender as well as sections on sports, elementary and middle schools, and managing controversy.

CURRICULA (about or inclusive of LGBT issues)

Challenging Homophobia in Schools: resource binder, lesson plans, handouts - 2004, from Pride Education Network (was GALE-BC - Gay and Lesbian Educators of British Columbia). An excellent K-12 resource for educators, counselors and administrators to aid in the support of, and education about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and families. 

The History and Nature of Homosexuality (and its "Causes"): (3-5 day unit for use in Psychology or Biology courses), Arthur Lipkin, Research Associate, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 210 Longfellow Hall, Cambridge MA 02138, Phone: 617-491-5301, Fax: 617-495-8510, Email: lipkinar@hugse1.harvard.edu

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights: A Human Rights Perspective: curriculum - 2000, Amnesty International USA, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN), and the Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center. Encourages thoughtful examination and responsible action about sexual identity issues within the context of human rights. Helps learners see their responsibility to take action to promote and protect the human rights of all, locally and globally.

Looking at Gay and Lesbian Literature: assortment of study questions - including suggestions for writing -- for Language Arts classes - Arthur Lipkin, Research Associate, Harvard Graduate School of Education. 210 Longfellow Hall, Cambridge MA 02138; Phone: 617-491-5301; Email: lipkinar@hugse1.harvard.edu

Making Healthy Choices: a comprehensive, integrated human development/sexuality education curriculum by Evonne Hedgepeth, Ph.D., Lifespan Education, addressing Life Cycle, Sexual Health, Gender, Attraction, Relationships, Exploitation and Violence, and Families. Originally developed for high risk and incarcerated youth. Address: PO Box 11844, Olympia, WA 98508; Phone: 360-352-9980; Email: evonne@lifespaneducation.com

Open Minds to Equality: A Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Affirm Diversity and Promote Equality, eds. Nancy Schniedewind and Ellen Davidson, 1997, Rethinking Schools, Ltd.  This is a practical book for teachers for building multi-cultural, gender-fair classrooms and for teaching students about both discrimination and approaches to equality.  Grounded in theory but fully accessible to teachers, the book's first two chapters explain the need for equitable classrooms, and the remaining chapters provide activities with full-size worksheets for use with children. This is a "teacher-friendly"¯ book that opens teachers' and students' eyes, hearts and minds to equality.

Our Whole Lives: a progressive, comprehensive, value-based sexuality curriculum addressing human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Teaches about sexual orientation and gender respectfully in the context of a whole human person. Originally developed for the Unitarian and UCC churches, but has been adapted for non-sectarian settings. Training is available. Phone: 1-800-215-9076; Web site: http://www.uua.org/owl/ ... grades K-adult

Pride & Prejudice: A formally evaluated, school-based approach to sexual diversity and homophobia. A six-week program with easy-to-follow session plans, handouts and evaluation tools. Comes with a six-part video featuring young gay and lesbian people discussing their lives and experiences. Shown to have significantly changed student attitudes toward gay men and lesbians after 6 weeks. (Health Promotion Journal of Australia, Dec 2001.)

Sexually Stigmatized Communities: Reducing Heterosexism and Homophobia, An Awareness Training Manual - by Chuck Stewart, 1999, SAGE Publications, Inc., ISBN: 9780761914105. A very comprehensive manual that includes sections on theory and research in practice, training on stigmatized communities, topic papers, transparency masters and activities.  Offers over 40 workshop exercise ideas, more than 100 brief readings for participants, and over 25 masters that can be duplicated for use as transparencies or handouts in workshop sessions. 

Support Services for Sexual Minority Youth (formerly titled "A Safe Place for Questions") available free from the San Francisco Unified School District. Contains lessons on family for first grade, respecting differences for grades two to five, name-calling for sixth grade, stereotypes for eighth grade, and homophobia and history for high school. Also contains sections on making your campus safe, counseling, and cultural considerations. Contact people are Kevin Gogin and Olivia Higgins; address: 1515 Quintara St., San Francisco, CA 94116; phone: 415-242-2615. Contact form and more information here.

Safe Schools Manual: comprehensive manual - 2000, Out for Equity/Out4Good of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A collection of materials and resources to aid educators and other staff members in combating homophobia and developing safer, more inclusive school climates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. More than 200 pages cover issues such as gay and lesbian history in the United States, forms of homophobia, and GLBT youth counseling. $10; Phone: (651) 603-4942; Email: Alan.Horowitz@spps.org.  ... grades K-12

Tackling Gay Issues in School (English), Abordando la Tematica Gay en la Escuela (Spanish): resource binder, background info, lesson plans - 2001, L. Mitchell for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut and GLSEN: The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. Fantastic compendium of information and lesson plans available FREE online! Divided into three sections: Rationale (for the inclusion of les/bi/gay/trans issues in school), Recommended Curriculum and Staff Development Activities, Recommended Extracurricular Activities and Resources. Email: leifygreen@aol.com.  ... grades K-12

VIDEOS, Feature Films & On-line Webcasts

ACCESSORY TO MURDER: Our Culture's Complicity in the Death of Ryan Skipper: On March 14, 2007, 25 year old Ryan Skipper of Polk County Florida was brutally murdered because he was gay. This documentary explores the rampant homophobia which is present in our culture's institutions, from religion, education, law enforcement to politics. Producers Mary Meeks and Vicki Nantz explore the culture-wide homophobia on a local and national level that was complicit in the brutal killing of Ryan Skipper. With analysis from licensed psychologist Kathryn Norsworthy, Ph.D. of Rollins College, and civil rights activist Brian Winfield of Equality Florida, they look at the pervasive hostility and hate that continues to foster violence, intolerance, discrimination and death against those in the LGBT community. Reverend Phyllis Hunt of Tampa MCC explores the hateful anti-gay rhetoric that "demonizes, marginalizes and segregates" its way from the pulpit and public square into the minds of killers. To purchase the DVD, send a check or money order for $20, along with your return address to The Ryan Keith Skipper Fund; P.O. Box 1739, Auburndale, Florida 33823. Distribution is handled by Ryan's parents, and the fund is a part of the tax-deductible 501(c)3 Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland.  All proceeds from these DVD sales go to the Ryan Keith Skipper Fund.  

After Stonewall: From the Riots to the Millennium, the sequel to Before Stonewall: 88 min. DVD. Chronicles the gay and lesbian experience since the Stonewall riots. More info from After Stonewall Productions.

A gay man In The Civil Rights Movement: 11 min film free online. Bayard Rustin was an American civil rights activist, important largely behind the scenes in the civil rights movement. (NOTE: preceded by a very campy commercial.)

All God's Children: 25 min. video. Moving documentary about gay and lesbian African-Americans and the church, ideal for the mostly African American classroom. Woman Vision, 3145 Geary Blvd, Suite 421, San Francisco, CA 94118. Phone: 415-273-1145, Email: womanvsn@aol.com

Assault on Gay America:  The 60-min. video by Public Broadcasting System are no longer available but you can still access a transcript, a homophobia questionaire and more. In February 1999, in Sylacauga, Alabama, 30-year-old computer programmer Bill Jack Gaither was murdered. The accused killer, a known white supremacist, testified he killed Gaither because he was "queer." Why have gays like Gaither and Matthew Shepard become the targets of such brutality? Frontline correspondent Forrest Sawyer explores the roots of homophobia in America -- as a catalyst for hate crimes and as a phenomenon that permeates our society.

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community: 87 min. DVD. Emmy-award winning documentary of gay life in the U.S. before 1969. More info from After Stonewall Productions.

Being Gay in the 21st Century: 25 minute film, free online:  

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin: 83 min. video. Documentary about this legendary African-American, gay, Quaker pacifist activist, without whom there might never have been a Montgomery Bus Boycott in support of Rosa Parks or a March on Washington with Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Available from Newsreel for $195. Newsreel toll free: 877-811-7495. 

Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History: 40 min. film. It tells the story of Jamie Nabozny, the first gay young person ever to sue his school district for not protecting him from years of anti-gay violence at school. He won the case against 3 individual school administrators and settled for nearly $1 million. The film humanizes Jamie through his warm, genuine explanation of his childhood. It features him, having grown into a confident man and an eloquent speaker, addressing a student body. It uses a combination of interviews and reenactment to make crystal clear what happened to Jamie at the hands of his peers and the callous responses of his schools' administrators. It shows various strategies Jamie tried in order to survive, along with the efforts of his parents and some of his teachers to act as allies. The courtroom drama segment -- based on actual transcripts -- is an amazing training tool for the continuing education of educators. Every faculty meeting across the country needs to set aside time to show Bullied. And every student body needs an assembly and small group discussions about the film and about all forms of bias-based bullying. It will change norms and offer hope to young people who have been the targets of bullying. As one of his teachers says in the film, "One brave young man ...stood up for millions of others." Jamie changed his school district and other schools all over the country. Jamie himself closes the film by saying to the camera, "If I can do that, anyone can do that." Order your free copy - limit of one kit per school.

Coming Out, Coming Home: Asian and Pacific Islander Family Stories: 44 min. video. An effort to break the isolation of A/PI families with GLBT children and help with communication within family and broader community. Features interviews with one Filipino and three Chinese families and dialogue among parents. Speaking in English, families discuss shame, grief, love, growth, importance of family, how they handled their conflicts around homosexuality. For more information, contact: Asian and Pacific Islander Family Pride.

Dealing with Difference: Opening Dialogue about Lesbian, Gay & Straight Issues: 35 min. video/DVD and accompanying curriculum from Human Relations Media and GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. For more information from GLSEN and possible discount if still available, go here.

Just Call Me Kade: 26-minute film tells the true story of a transgender teen Kade (formerly "Kate") Farlow Collins from Tucson, Arizona. 2001.

Lipstick: 10 minute video - "You've known her forever. She's your best friend. You talk about everything. How will you react when she tells you she's gay?" The video is a wonderful piece to trigger a discussion of issues such as ambivalence, peer pressure, friendship, prejudice and sexual diversity. After the 10 minutes video itself is a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. $30.00, Scenarios USA: 434 W. 33rd Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001; Phone: 866.414.1044; Fax: 212.252.1511; Email: info@scenariosusa.org. ... High School

Man in the Mirror:  from Scenarios USA, directed by Joel Schumacher, written by 18-year old Treviny Marie Colon from the Bronx. “Jason Gutierrez is a Puerto Rican from New York City and the quintessential all-American guy. Status comes at a price as rumors spread that Jason is gay. With his identity questioned, Jason is pushed to understand who he is and prove how far he will go to prove that he's just “one of the boys.”Man in the Mirror examines stereotypes, sexual orientation, homophobia and bullying.” Run time 17 min, DVD $89.  Watch a preview, print a free lesson plan to use with it.  Scenarios USA: 434 W. 33rd Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001; Phone: 866.414.1044; Fax: 212.252.1511; Email: info@scenariosusa.org. ... High School

Scenarios USA also has two other new films that examine stereotypical gender norms: Life’s Poison and A Man Made Early. "Scenarios USA's awesome work is a collaborative effort between youths who write screenplays and professionals who produce, direct, and act in their films. Every film they make is top-notch for classroom use." -- Beth Reis, Co-chair, Safe Schools Coalition.

Out of the Past: 97 min. video, 1998. The first documentary about lesbian and gay history ever produced for a high school audience. This film, winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, recovers facets of our history that have been left out of the textbooks and follows one young woman making history today.

Put This on the {Map}: 42 minutes, 2009. This is the compelling documentary about a generation of young people reteaching gender and sexual identity. Twenty-six young people weave together this ground-breaking narrative of shifting identities and social change. In an open and honest exploration of education, family, and community, Put This on the {Map} moves an audience from self-reflection to action. For more information about the documentary or about bringing the film AND YOUTH TRAINERS to your organization, workplace, school, church, or community group. Contact producers@putthisonthemap.org

Queer Spawn: 29 minute film by Anna Boluda. There are over ten million children with gay or lesbian parents in the United States. Are their lives affected by their kind of family? From liberal New York City to conservative Texas, teenagers and their parents candidly share their experiences and insights. Watch online and order a copy of the film on DVD directly from the filmmaker: annaboluda@gmail.com

Reteaching Gender & Sexuality: Show this free 3-minute video from the youth activists at "Put This on the {MAP}" (above) to your class, your school, your student government group, your faculty … it's a great way to reframe things if a training audience seems to be pathologizing queer youth, seeing them as one big problem instead of as potentially happy, well-adjusted human beings. 

Straightlaced: from girls confronting popular messages about culture and body image to boys who are sexually active just to prove they aren't gay, the students in Straightlaced illustrate the toll that deeply held stereotypes and rigid gender policing have on all of our lives. Filmed in the same intimate style as Groundspark's That's a Family! and Let's Get Real, the heart of Straightlaced is candid interviews with more than 50 teens form diverse backgrounds. There is no disputing the fact that gender-based stereotypes and anti-gay attitudes affect the lives of all students today. Straightlaced provides a way into a much-needed dialogue about gender roles and homophobia among teenagers. With refreshing honesty, the diverse youth in the film open up about the pressure to conform to rigid gender role expectations. Boys who have to act tough even though they may feel vulnerable, or girls who have to dress provocatively just to fit in, reveal the toll it takes on them to live up to gender role expectations and how that limits who they really want to be.

NOTE: When Safe Schools Coalition supporters who purchase That's a Family! - or - Let's Get Real - or - Straightlaced, use the partner promotional code, N3GC28, the Coalition will get a much needed 10% rebate. We appreciate your donating to us in this painless way.

SPEAK UP! Improving the Lives of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgendered Youth: 30 minute video. Explores what gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) students and their allies have done to transform their schools into safer and more welcoming environments. Interviews with students, parents, teachers, administrators and national activists (Judy Shepard, Danny and Julie from MTV's Real World New Orleans and actor/musician Anthonly Rapp). Media Education Foundation: 1-800-897-0089.

The Teen Files: The Truth About Hate: A moving film about racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, etc. and the transformative power of getting to know "the other." It shows teens who have expressed hate and distrust as they get to know real individuals who belong to the very groups they think they hate (African-American, Jewish, gay, etc.). Distributed by AIMS Multimedia - full 49 minute version for $149.95 as a DVD or as a video, or a 32 minute school version for $149.95. There is also a long and short version in Spanish. ... High School - Adult

Other feature films suggested for classroom use include:

Webcast on gay issues that you and your students can view on-line: Begins with a short dramatized piece featuring an African-American teen acting as an ally to a Caucasian gay peer and then a long, rather slow but very interesting panel follows. From the Exploratorium (the museum of science, art, and human perception): scroll down and click on "gay issues webcast."

Who I Am: (12.5 minutes, 2006) Two young women confront their sexuality at the crossroads of race and class. Who I Am addresses stereotypes, racism, and homophobia. The film, like all films from Scenarios USA was written by a teen (Whitney Peters) and directed and acted by professionals. It's outstanding. Watch it free online and download a lesson plan or purchase it in DVD form -- and support Scenarios USA for supporting young scriptwriters -- for $89.


Music on the Safe Schools Coalition Website: listen to lots of songs right here on our website that relate to the issues we work on.   

Between the Beats: amazing CD of songs and spoken word by men for men, with a training manual - 2001, Todd Denny and the Men's Violence Project. Topics include: sexual harassment, school violence, homophobia, pornography, alcohol and STDs, masculinity, sexual assault and anti-female beliefs. MVP also offers a training program for schools who would like to develop their own peer-based "MVP" songs. Preview a few songs online. Phone: 360-866-7140; Email: tdenny@olywa.net. $30

Identity:from the "Staying Out of the Risky Zone, Volume Two" album/CD, lyrics by Michael Cavazos-Alcacia, music by Jetro Da Silva. Contemporary music addressing teen sexuality, the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy in culturally relevant and entertaining ways, the audio-tape or compact disc comes with a discussion guide. Risky Zone Initiatives - based in Portland, Maine; Phone:: 207-761-6981.

Turn It Down: A Campaign Against White Power Music -- includes a Resource Kit, free online with advice for students, teachers, parents, bands and the music industry.

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Out Voicee: "your gateway to out music" A GLBT musicians CD ranking system, online since 1996!

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