The Theatrefolk 2021–2022 Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Panel shares its thoughts on LGBTQ+ inclusive questions for your beginning of the year survey.
What strategies do you use to get to know your students at the beginning of the year or semester? Certainly you’ll learn about them from what they share in your class, how they approach assignments, and how they work with others. But there are some specific details that won’t come to light in the day-to-day routines of your class. A student survey can help you learn those details.
Potential questions can range from personal reflections to learning preferences. The answers will give you insight into your students’ goals for your class, what they want, and how they express their individuality. For example:
But there are other key questions to consider, particularly for your students in the LGBTQ+ (LGBTQIA, LGBTQ2S) community. The answers to these questions are key to student safety and inclusivity. Student safety is extremely important. Inadvertently outing students to their peers, families, and/or other teachers may lead to bullying, abuse, etc.
Consider the following inclusive questions for your LGBTQ+ students:
Note: This is not a document that you pull out when you assume you have an LGBTQ+ student. Don’t assume. Give students the opportunity to share that information with you. These questions should be normalized as part of your classroom procedures for getting to know your students.
Disclaimer: Check with your administration and district policy about anything discussed in this article with regard to LGBTQ+ (LGBTQIA, LGBTQ2S), as laws vary from region to region.
L = Lesbian. Women sexually/romantically attracted to women.
G = Gay. Men sexually/romantically attracted to men.
B = Bisexual. People sexually/romantically attracted to their own and other genders.
T = Transgender. People whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
Q = Queer/Questioning. An umbrella term with a variety of meanings. Used by some individuals who don’t identify as straight or cisgender and do not conform to traditional societal norms with regard to gender and sexuality, or who are questioning their sexuality or their identity.
I = Intersex. An umbrella term. A person born with sex characteristics that do not fit binary definitions of male and female.
A = Asexual. People who feel little to no sexual attraction to others.
2S = Two-Spirit. An umbrella term used by some Indigenous people who identify as having both a male and female spirit.