Guide for Teachers: Queer Stories Matter

Updated: Jul 5, 2020


In this cellphilm, through oral histories, two adults describe their experiences of gender and sexuality in schools and their families. They also argue that incorporating queer histories and stories into school is critical teacher activist practice.

Pre-Viewing Question:

1. Have you ever read a book or seen a film at school that centered the experiences of queer, trans, and/or non-binary people? If so, what was it? If not, why do you think that might be?

2. Who decides what stories we read and what films we view in our classrooms? Who decides what information we need to learn?

Post-Viewing Questions:

1. Heteronormativity is the idea that heterosexuality is normal and a preferred way of being and relating in the world where all other sexual and gender identities are othered or made to seem odd or different. How do schools reinforce heteronormativity? How might we speak back to these practices?

2. What might we do as a collective to bring queer stories into our classroom and school spaces?

Additional Resources:

1. Allen, L. (2015). Picturing queer at school. Journal of LGBT Youth, 12(4), 367-384.

2. Burke, B. R., & Greenfield, K. (2016). Challenging heteronormativity: Raising LGBTQ awareness in a high school English language arts classroom. English Journal, 105(6), 46.