It is important to teach LGBTQ history in schools. However, information on this important segment of our society are often missing from history books and lessons.

Traditional history has been a part of education in the United States, seemingly forever. We all learned about important events like the Civil War, World Wars I and II and Watergate, just to name a few, and how they helped shape our society.

Additionally, history lessons have focused on individuals and their contributions to our world. We know all about leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Barak Obama. We have learned about explorers, inventors and business people.This has provided our children a greater understanding of how things have changed over time, who has affected change and, hopefully, how they may be able to change the world for the better.

Unfortunately, marginalized groups tend to be absent from the history books and lessons until something happens to include them. We have witnessed this with the African American community. While we are making strides, this inclusion is clearly a work in progress.

With regard to our community, LGBTQ history is being considered in many areas.  In fact, in July of 2020 the State of Illinois will begin to teach it their schools. California, Oregon, New Jersey and Colorado have similar laws. It is critical that more states implement similar changes to their curriculum. Consider this:

  1. LGBTQ history is personal to many and relevant to all.  Students have parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and  friends who are LGBTQ. They, themselves, may also identify as a member of our community. Providing these children details on both the evolution of Pride, the history of events affecting the community and LGBTQ individuals who have contributed to our country is important. Everyone should understand their history and have role models to emulate.

  1. Teaching LGBTQ history protects our children. Studies have shown that schools that teach LGBTQ history have lower incidences of bullying.  In addition, these lessons help familiarize students with important events and impactful individuals. ALL students are safer and smarter when our history is taught. 

  1. LGBTQ history and equality is part of our lives. We have all read news reports about the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage (the White House was even bathed in rainbow lights to celebrate) and anti discrimination laws.  These are changes to our history. And, so many LGBTQ individuals are doing amazing things. We should recognize their leadership and accomplishments. Members of the community are political leaders, actors and actresses, business leaders, astronauts, scientists and more.  All students should should learn about these individuals and the contributions that they have made. 

Teaching LGBTQ history will provide valuable information to our all of our children. It will increase understanding.  And, hopefully, it will help make the United States more accepting and less judgmental. Honestly, prejudice is not hereditary, it is taught. If we focus on teaching the history of an important segment of our population, we will increase respect and acceptance for all.

At Rainbow Depot, we know the importance of the history of the LGBTQ community and believe it should be taught in schools nationwide. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way.