It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable about your feelings in any scenario, but it takes much more courage, to be honest about your feelings and who you love when you know you’ll face opposition from society. And so this Pride month and every month I want to send my love and respect to everybody who has been brave enough, to be honest about how they feel, to live their lives as they are, as they feel they should be, and as they identify. And this is a month where I think we need to celebrate how far we’ve come, but I think we also need to acknowledge how far we still have left to go.
To feel safe and to feel seen. To feel valued and capable of growth. These are simple concepts—basic pillars of student achievement and the results of a good education.
These rights are still out of reach for many LGBTQIA+ individuals. However, LGBTQIA+ students who attend school in a truly inclusive setting, where their identities are valued in both the curriculum and school regulations, experience more positive outcomes. They also confront fewer hurdles to success and are subject to less harassment. They also feel more valued by school staff. We also know that a school that is LGBTQIA+ inclusive benefits all students. Empathy, understanding, and respect are sparked when LGBTQIA+ identities are valued in the classroom, in the curriculum, and in everyday encounters.
A generation of young LGBTQIA+ students will attend schools that not only tolerate LGBTQIA+ individuals and same-sex couples but actively celebrate and support them in their struggles. However, not all LGBTQIA + individuals are so fortunate. Therefore, today and every day going forward, myself as Dean of AAA School of Advertising, as well as my colleagues and institution as an entirety, would like to challenge schools out there to be inclusive of all students, to celebrate these beautiful and talented young individuals and to celebrate and make them feel safe within the halls of our schools.
Inclusive education affirms your existence and validates your unique personality. It is critical for people to understand that this teaching has no hierarchy. It’s about acceptance of people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, faiths, socioeconomic statuses, and/or disabilities. Inclusive education helps to create inclusive communities. Building a more welcoming society requires building bridges between diverse groups. If all schools teach acceptance – no exceptions – then that would be a good first step to healing some of the division that we’ve seen in society over the past decade. This type of teaching will assist in the development of greater inclusivity, acceptance, and understanding, in our classrooms and school corridors.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have LGBTQIA+ students in our classrooms and I would like to challenge educators out there, to remember as a teacher, that each student’s experience is unique. It’s critical to remember that their vision of the world is their reality while positioning yourself as an ally. The most effective technique for supporting LGBTQIA+ students is to establish yourself as a teacher who supports all students from the start.
Educators must also make a concerted effort to include LGBTQIA+ history and viewpoints in their curricula. When students see themselves, they feel affirmed, at ease, and present. LGBTQIA+ perspectives are frequently neglected or ignored. Being able to relate with our LGBTQIA+ students requires an understanding of intersectionality. The purpose of education is to achieve educational equity while also cultivating a climate of acceptance and respect among all who attend our schools.
In conclusion, I want each of us as educators to inform and educate ourselves about LGBTQIA+, be an ally to our students, use inclusive language, create safe spaces and inclusive teaching methods, and respect each student’s identity and journey.
I’d like to send my love and respect to anyone who hasn’t felt safe enough to come out in their life path. And may you do so on your own time, and may we one day live in a society where everyone may live and love equally, and no one is scared to be vulnerable and express their feelings .Because when it comes to feelings, love, and the hunt for someone to spend the rest of your life with, it’s all really delicate.
Dr. Chris Roets
AAA Dean: Marketing