Pride month is a time of celebration – a time to celebrate love and a time to celebrate embracing our own and others’ identities. It’s also a time to honor and remember the LGBTQIA+ trail blazers who fought to ensure that everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexuality, enjoys the same rights as others. Newsela is celebrating Pride with our content this month by showcasing diverse stories from LGBTQIA+ communities past and present, in hopes that we will continue to foster a sense of pride and joy in all of our students being their authentic selves.
LGBTQIA+ communities have generated artistic traditions that have gone on to shape American art and culture for generations. In the first week of Pride month, we’ll showcase some of those traditions, and the individual queer and trans artists at the forefront of artistic and political movements. We’ll explore the influences of artists like James Baldwin and Frida Kahlo, and examine how gay artists like Lil Nas X are changing perceptions in mainstream music today. Next, we’ll shine the spotlight on the political and social activists who have fought for LGBTQIA+ rights, such as Harvey Milk, and read about how a shared potluck dinner in lesbian tradition started a movement. In the third week of Pride month, we’ll focus on the diverse identities that makeup LGBTQIA+ communities, and the ways in which gender and sexuality have been expressed differently throughout cultures and eras, such as Native American conceptions of two-spirit identities. Finally, we’ll celebrate some of the victories of LGBTQIA+ rights movements in recent years, from greater representation in professional sports, to new laws preventing discrimination.
As with all of our heritage month content, we hope that these resources will allow students to learn more about themselves, their peers, and the world around them. We know that when we normalize differences in students, we can help reduce bullying and increase tolerance. We hope these stories create a safer and more comfortable environment for everyone in the classroom and that students are inspired by the LGBTQIA+ individuals who have expressed themselves and fought for their rights throughout American history. In reading this content, students will learn to feel pride in who they are, and in the diverse identities of the people that surround them. Happy Pride Month!