Ari Gibson

Metropolitan State University - 2022

Integrating LGBTQ+-Inclusive Curriculum in K-12 Education

Major: Business Administration and Management

Project: Through my Puksta project, I am hoping to help fill the current void surrounding LGBTQ+ education in elementary, middle, and high schools. While other topics regarding diversity are becoming commonplace in classrooms, the important aspects of diversity surrounding those who identify as gender and/or sexuality queer are lacking. I believe that introducing the subject matter to youth in health and sex education classes would enable them to learn about these different areas while helping start a path of self-discovery related to gender and sexuality. Through connecting with educators, providing resources for schools, and giving in-class presentations, I can introduce this content in a friendly, discussion-welcoming demeanor. If one isn’t aware that other genders and sexualities exist, they may find themselves struggling to understand why they’re attracted to certain people and feel certain ways about their gender. The dysphoria that can surround being queer is hard to manage1 2, but our youth need to know they’ll always have support from other LGBTQ+ community members, organizations, and allies, including those who are present in their daily academic lives.

Inspiration: Friends that are part of the LGBTQ+ community have helped me notice the lack of education about their gender expression and sexual orientation. They’ve also helped me see what it can be like to live with daily gender and sexuality dysphoria, making me see the importance for everyone to be able to express themselves, be called their correct name, and use their correct gender pronouns.

Future Plans: I would hope that my project helps youth identify their gender identities and sexual orientations while educating them about all the different forms of gender expression and sexualities that exist. I also want my project to help shift cultural attitudes towards those that identify as gender or sexuality queer.