LGBTQ+ Youth Expertise on Allyship and Advocacy for Educators
Keywords:Allyship, Youth Educators, LGBTQ Students, Advocacy
We discuss what we have learned as youth and adult volunteers in a youth-led, community-based LGBTQ+ youth group in the Midwest United States. Based on our experiences in schools and conversations with educators, we make a distinction between allyship for and advocacy alongside LGBTQ+ youth. We offer what we see as five important ways to promote a generative school climate for LGBTQ+ individuals. For each, we discuss what we see as the practical difference between the approaches of allies versus those of advocates. Through these ideas, we hope to engage teachers, administrators, and other youth in conversation around the importance of listening to youth expertise and experience when trying to create more inclusive classrooms and schools.