Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in the Classroom

Recently, Katherine Charek Briggs, Assistant Director of the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, led an interactive Zoom workshop for L&S TAs to hear about inclusive practices, prepare to make space for conversation within their work teams, and practice scenarios. Read below for some workshop takeaways.

Key Ideas

  • Individuals have a big impact. Using welcoming body language, checking your assumptions, and normalizing apology and correction can help create supportive environments.
  • When someone discloses an identity to you, thank them for sharing and offer support.
  • Practice someone’s pronouns for homework. The Minus18 Pronouns app is a simple matching game for practicing.

Scenarios for Practice

Shea, a non-binary student, has told your whole class they use they/them pronouns. Two classmates continue to misgender them in class and on Canvas. What do you do?

What if the students are non-native English speakers?

What if it is your lead professor, not students, who is misgendering them?

A student shares that a classmate implied she should be using the all-gender restroom in your building. She wants help submitting a bias report. What do you do?

What if you don’t know much about restroom and/or bias policies at UW?

What else might you offer her in terms of support?