By Orion Rummler
Originally published by The 19th
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At least 11 states have passed laws to censor discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in public schools, eliminating the potential for queer students to see themselves in their education. But most LGBTQ+ students haven’t been learning about their community in school anyway.
Instead, they’ve turned to the internet to learn about their identities as queer and trans young people. Some do online research about LGBTQ+ identities after learning from their friends or seeing representation in fiction.
In a new survey published in August, only 13.8 percent of 12,615 LGBTQ+ students said that their history classes had ever included a lesson, unit or chapter on LGBTQ+ history. The online survey, organized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the University of Connecticut, mostly received responses from high school students, though some middle school and college students also participated. Students, the majority of which were in public schools, took the survey in 2022.
That such a small number of LGBTQ+ students have ever learned about queer history in school stood out as a key data point to Ryan Watson, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut and the lead researcher for the survey.
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