Webinar 3 - LGBTQ Inclusive Pedagogy: An Interview With an LGBTQ+ Ally

Posted On 3/28/2020 1:32:00 AM, 0Comments

For this assignment, I have preferred to interview one of my friends on campus and report her thoughts. We are studying in the same department (ELT). From my lofty vantage point, she is quite experienced and open to teach about the kinds of topics (name-calling and bias, gender roles, and family diversity) and to support LGBTQ+ students to create inclusive classrooms. My questions are more focused on the pedagogical voice since I believe that we are already familiar with LGBTQ+ persons, their behavioral preferences and practices, fantasies, and feelings of affection and emotional affinity. We are also quite aware of the challenges they are facing in their daily lives. However, we really don't know how to treat and back up them. As teachers, if we are willing to help them, a classroom is the place to start because teachers play a crucial role in supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ students, ensuring they can learn and explore in a safe classroom space. So, my interview questions include:

  • What do you think to be an ally to LGBTQ+ students mean?
  • Do you think it’s important to be an ally to LGBTQ+ students?
  • How can teachers become allies in fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ students?

Before asking her to answer the questions, I sent her an interview confirmation email. In this mail, I gave information about the aim of the interview and the confidentiality of the responses she was going to provide. The email is attached below: 



After that, I gave her time to check the questions and ask me anything she couldn't figure out. She just asked me whether she could answer in a paragraph or not because she thought that the questions were connected. I willingly accepted her suggestion. And now, I am presenting here the answer to the questions.

It was nine years ago, and at that time, I had a course for my MA. We were eight or nine sitting in U shaped desks, so I could easily recognize her/his face, attitude, or mimic. Those days, I cannot say that I exactly knew what LGBTQ+ means or how to behave towards her/him. There was one thing that shaped my vision: humanity. This view showed me how to look at the world since there was one world that is free of the outer and inner world. One source: how you look at yourself reflects on your environment. I, therefore, can truly say that the notion of LGBTQ+ does not mean to me that LGBTQ+ students are the ones who are bullied or harassed since the essence of humanity is the one.

Now, I am a pre-service teacher, and I am on the other side of the coin. Being a teacher in the twenty-first century means new responsibility in every aspect. Being an ally to LGBTQ+ students is the leading one. Wherever you are, maybe you are in a university or in a practicum school, it does not matter. The point is that you are the one holding the key. I regard ''this issue'' (in fact, I do not want to say that) as a collective responsibility, and if I am a future teacher, I should have a voice when they do not have in that they are not individuals because of their tendency. At that point, not only teachers or other opinion leaders but also all people who are aware of the sensibility of the issue should be allies at universities, schools, or other places. For me, ''this'' should not be handled by only specific groups. So, I am an ally to LGBTQ+ students. In other words, I do not identify myself as LGBTQ+ person; however, I support both LGBTQ+ individuals and communities and advocate them.

When I question myself about how to be a voice on behalf of them, literature can be one of the resources I can apply in the class by taking advantage of its unifying energy, which gathers each human in a society or even in the world. Any passage should be read and can be expected to think about it. In the beginning, for young or adult learners, gaining awareness of the matter can be the first step by making them read a text without asking them anything. Just let them read. In that way, students will have a chance to notice the differences, and these differences are the things that bind us together. Another way can be watching films or videos related to this topic. When I was a preservice teacher in a high school, I had made students watch a short movie about teenage problems. One of them was being bullied because of being G. After the movie, I asked them about how they would feel when they were bullied so that I wanted them to develop empathy.

Generally, LGBTQ+ students are more inclined to skip school due to feeling unsafe or having previously been bullied. Considering this fact, as LGBTQ-allied teachers, we should prevent bullying, ensure inclusion, and make each student feel safe. To give an example, it is imperative that teachers swiftly respond to bullying by immediately addressing the aggressive student. To provide appropriate intervention for that student, teachers may also consult school administrators or school services like counseling or therapy. Moreover, it is essential to set clear goals when it comes to bullying or harassment due to sexual orientation. Likewise, teachers must warn the students that homophobic or transphobic language use in the classroom or school environment will not be tolerated. Additionally, teachers can implement LGBTQ-inclusive lesson plans to accomplish extra-curricular activities. Even if they couldn't find time to do it, they could mould and interrogate the content by using materials reflecting LGBTQ+ to prepare other students for interacting within our society appropriately. Lastly, teachers should be a model if they want to prevent bullying.

To conclude, resources, activities, and measurements can be varied. The key is the teacher. They should be open to innovation and follow it.

My friend has also used this website (https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/education-teaching-degree/lgbtq-youth/) to get further information.

After the interview, I also recommended her to watch a movie called ''The Imitation Game'' that gives her further ideas about the feelings of LGBTQ+ persons and the challenges they are facing. This film can also be used to show the students that we shouldn't give up easily no matter what we are facing today or no matter how challenges or obstacles are in our life.

Expert Review.mp4 (9.33 mb)

Official Trailer.mp4 (12.76 mb)