Big Gay Adventures in Education is a collection of true stories by 'out' teachers, and students of 'out' teachers, all about their experiences in schools. The book aims to empower LGBT+ teachers to be the role models they needed when they were in school and help all teachers and school leaders to promote LGBT+ visibility and inclusion.
The contributors range from trainee teachers to experienced school leaders and leading figures from the community across the LGBT+ spectrum, as well as LGBT+ students whose lives were improved by having an openly LGBT+ teacher. Each story is accompanied by an editor’s note reflecting on the contributor’s experience and the practical implications for schools and teachers in supporting LGBT+ young people and ensuring they feel safe and included in their school communities.
Compiled by the co-founder and director of LGBTed, the inspiring stories in this book are essential reading for LGBT+ teachers and allies. Let’s be the role models we needed when we were at school and show our students that they can be successful and happy as an LGBT+ person.
Table of Contents
Andrew Moffatt MBE
1 Why this book exists
2 To be out or not to be out
3 It’s OK: A school assembly
4 Miss, are you a lesbian? Becoming bisexual
5 Out from the outset
7 A story in two halves
Catherine Halliwell and Cerian Craske
8 Intersections of Identity: Being an ‘out’ Jewish bisexual teacher
9 You can’t win on culture alone, but you sure can lose on it
10 Bi bi bi
11 That assembly
12 Simple acts of kindness and love
13 Add a little bit of glitter
14 'Miss, I’m part of LGBT too'
15 The cupboard without a rainbow flag
16 I want the world to know
17 The best you can be is yourself
18 You’ve gotta give ’em hope
19 The invisible girl
20 The moderately successful lesbian
21 The rainbow armadillo
22 Being the role model I wish I had
23 Changing the narrative: Why being ‘out’ at school is so important
24 Being your authentic self at work
Daniel Tomlinson-Gray is a secondary school Media Studies and English teacher with more than 12 years of experience who has also worked in school leadership. He is the co-founder and director of LGBTed with Hannah Jepson, working with teachers and schools to increase the visibility of authentic LGBT+ role models. He is married to Samuel, with a tabby cat called Missy Misdemeanour and two hens, Edina and Patsy.
"Big Gay Adventures in Education is a must-read for LGBT+ educators, allies, and those seeking to learn more about LGBT+ educator experiences given the opportunity to learn directly from LGBT+ educators. The authors’ recount of their experience presents an anthem of motivation in calling us to be present and out for our LGBT+ students. Thanks to the shared stories, advice, and calls to action in Big Gay Adventures in Education, readers are left feeling invigorated and motivated to take active steps in supporting their LGBT+ students." - Sarah Kiperman, Teachers College Record