|NYC schools integrate LGBTQ stories in social studies curriculum|
The New York City Department of Education has developed a social studies curriculum supplement that centers LGBTQ voices, which are often left out of history textbooks. The supplement features 20 stories of individuals who broke norms or expectations of gender and sexuality, including Martin Wong, a Chinese American painter who explored queer identities, Frank Kameny, the first individual to sue the U.S. government for discrimination against LGBTQ people, and Black queer feminist Pauli Murray; it also discusses critical eras in U.S. history through the lens of LGBTQ figures and events, such as the Lavender Scare and the “Pansy Craze.” “When I was in college, if a teacher had talked about someone being gay in the past it would have been dramatic because nobody was talking about gay people at all,” said Daniel Hurewitz, associate professor of history at Hunter College and lead historian on the Hidden Voices project. “But now, students live in a world where ‘RuPaul’s Drag Races’ are being talked about, and their Instagram feeds are full of queer lives. So it’s almost our responsibility to give students a set of analytic skills to understand the world they are in.” According to 2019 research from GLSEN, a national advocacy group for LGBTQ students, less than 20% of students are taught any positive representations of LGBTQ history, people, or events at their schools. Only New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois and California legally mandate that public schools teach LGBTQ history.