LGBTQ+, Pride, and Allyship

Social Justice Learning: adult

Today's Lesson: LGBTQ+, Pride, and Allyship

People of all sexual orientations and gender identities can benefit from discovering more resources on this topic. It is our hope that all people can gain a more unbiased and thorough understanding of the LGBTQ+ community while also learning how to promote acceptance. We understand that these conversations can be difficult, and often we aren’t sure where to start. Below you will find a sampling of resources you can dive into right now. From birth through adulthood, we believe social justice learning is a life-long journey. Click here to return to the main page.

Learning Levels

Early Childhood Adolescent Adult


James Baldwin

James Baldwin
Photo Credit: PBS American Masters

Though he spent most of his life living abroad to escape the racial prejudice in the United States, James Baldwin is the quintessential American writer. Best known for his reflections on his experience as an openly gay Black man in white America, his novels, essays, and poetry make him a social critic who shared the pain and struggle of Black Americans. James Baldwin provided inspiration for later generations of artists to speak out about the gay experience in Black America.


EXTRA CREDIT: As language shifts, terms take on new meanings. But when is it appropriate for media organizations to reflect those changes? This NPR article examines the use of the word “Queer” in media reporting.



Fighting for Same-Sex Adoption in the South

Did you know that there are 11 states in the U.S. that allow for adoption discrimination based on religious grounds? In this episode of Prideland from PBS we meet one family from Alabama who wouldn’t let anyone, or any law, get in the way of them getting married and adopting their daughter. Watch the full episode.


EXTRA CREDIT: In this video from First Person: Classroom, Naima and Jeannine talk about the how to be an effective ally and advocate for transitioning students. When we learn why being an ally for LGBTQ youth—even if you’re not perfect—helps to make you a better ally for all LGBTQ. Just do your best to show up!


Remembering Black Trans Lives During Pride Month

Trans women Carlisha Brown, from left, Nina Barkers, and Vanessa Warri, of Los Angeles at an All Black Lives Matter march

From left: Trans women Carlisha Brown, Nina Barkers, and Vanessa Warri attend an All Black Lives Matter march in Los Angeles.

AP/Paula Munoz

So many trans women have lost their lives due to violence that the American Medical Association has declared it an “epidemic.” Yet, despite the violence perpetrated against them, black trans people are often the ones on the front lines fighting for change. 51 years ago, trans women of color were the ones clashing with police during the Stonewall Riots in New York City. 

Now, black trans people are again showing up and protesting, this time over the police killing of George Floyd, but who is putting their bodies on the line for Black trans people? The 21st—Illinois Public Media’s statewide talk show—explores this issue here, take a listen.




  1. When Sara and Micah’s oldest daughter Naima showed resistance to wearing dresses and playing typical “girl” games, they thought she was a tomboy who someday could be a lesbian. This episode WILL’s Focus 580, “Parenting a Transgender Child,” explores one family’s experiences.  
  2. The 21st covers the landmark case by the U.S. Supreme Court that ruled that the civil rights law protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Take a listen.
  3. The 21st talks with Cecilia “Cec” Hardacker—Director of Education at Howard Brown Health Center, Project Manager for the Nurses’ HEALE program, and adjunct professor at Rush University College of Nursing—about caring for aging LGBTQ+ adults. Take a listen.