Foreword from LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan Advisory Group
Click here to view the Oregon Department of Education's LGBTQ+ Student Success Plan
Click here to see the Oregon Department of Education's LGBTQ+ Resources
Supporting Gender Expansive Students: Guidance for Schools
Click here to see a list of Southern Oregon & Statewide LGBTQ+ Organizations and Resources
+ Recognizes that there are myriad ways to describe gender identities & sexual orientations
Oregonians are committed to the success of all our youth. This Student Success Plan was written to address barriers to educational success for Oregonian students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, non-binary, transgender, gender queer, two-spirit, intersex, asexual (+). This student success plan establishes a framework for creating safe, inclusive and welcoming schools for LGBTQ2SIA+ students.
Members of the LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Act Advisory Group met for several months with SeeChange LLC to form a framework to create safer and more affirming classrooms and schools for our LGBTQ2SIA+ students. Our work was informed by the lived experiences of LGBTQ2SIA+ students and families in Oregon as well as three decades of research on educational barriers for students who are LGBTQ2SIA+.
It is critical for Oregon educators to be informed of both resilience and excellence of these students as well as the challenges and barriers these students experience in our school system. We must not discount the tremendous inherent strength in each of these students. What we know is that despite the statistically inhospitable educational settings they experience, in school and in their communities, LGBTQ2SIA+ students persevere with little educational support and often find ways to connect with one another.
In establishing this plan, we want to highlight the necessity for an intersectional framework that addresses the multiple identities LGBTQ2SIA+ students occupy. Student experiences related to racial identity, tribal sovereignty, religious identity, social class, disability, and immigration status interact with their experiences associated with the LGBTQ2SIA+ identity. Supporting the multiple valuable identities of these youth as assets, embracing their lived experiences, and creating nurturing environments for these youth means we need to think deeply about how our previous work to support student success has set a new foundation for our state.
We set forth this plan mindful of the Oregon Department of Education’s request to establish strategies to increase inclusivity, increase student belonging, reduce bullying, address bias based harassment and campus assaults, and improve attendance. We know from what youth share about their experiences, and what research and data shows, that our state has an opportunity to support the strengths and resilience of LGBTQ2SIA+ students.
The following plan provides strategies and goals to work toward addressing educational and social-emotional needs of these students. The plan addresses 1.) the need for professional development among Oregon educators, 2.) equitable access to appropriate educational curriculum, facilities and activities 3.) necessary data collection through an annual climate survey and student advisory group to inform future decision making regarding this student population.
This plan is offered with the expectation that Oregon educators will lead as advocates for LGBTQ2SIA+ students now and adapt as these needs and challenges change. We offer these recommendations as a path to set us down a new road of creating safer and more welcoming school environments for LGBTQ2SIA+ students.
Gender Options for School Forms
Change beginning in the 2018-2019 School Year:
Beginning in the 2018 – 2019 school year, the Oregon Department of Education will be recognizing three gender options: Female, Male, and X in all public schools. This change is a step towards greater gender inclusivity by the state. The Oregon Legislature now recognizes a non-binary gender option on the Oregon Drivers License, Oregon Identification Cards, Oregon birth certificates, and public school forms.
Gender X / Gender-Neutral Identification:
Gender X is a gender-neutral term used to indicate a gender that is not exclusively male or female. The X provides a third option for people with non-binary gender identifications and those wishing to not disclose.
Registration forms for students will include the three gender options of Female, Male, and X options beginning in the fall of 2018.
Internal school and district forms will reflect this change.
Schools will continue to follow OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) guidelines for sports registration and participation. (OSAA governance handbooks)
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and other privacy protections for students continue to apply.
School data collections will include Female, Male, and X options.
Reference: Oregon Department of Education Executive Numbered Memo: 008-2017-18
House Bill 2673 (2017 Session)
Working With Transgender Individuals
Assigned sex: Sex recorded at birth, usually on the basis of external genitalia
Bisexual: Having emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction for people of more than one gender
Cisgender: A term used to describe people who, for the most part, identify with the sex they were assigned at birth
Gay: Having emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction for people of the same sex
Gender Binary: The assumption that there are only two genders (male and female), rather than more than two genders or gender fluidity
Gender Nonconforming: A person who does not identify with a specific set of traits (behavioral, cultural, community roles) on the male to female spectrum
Gender Expression: How people express their gender externally based on mannerisms, dress, etc. A person's gender expression/presentation may not always match their gender identity.
Gender Identity: A person's internal sense of being male, female or some other gender, regardless of whether the individual's appearance, expression or behavior differs from that traditionally associated with the individual's sex assigned at birth. Gender identity is distinct from and often unrelated to an individual’s sexual orientation.
Gender Role: The socially determined sets of behaviors assigned to people based on their biological sex
Gender Sensitive: Materials and instructional strategies that are sensitive to an individual’s similarities and differences regarding gender role, gender identity and/or sexual orientation
Genderqueer: A person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female. The term is not a synonym for transgender and should only be used if someone self-identifies as genderqueer.
Intersex: Intersex is an umbrella term for unique variations in reproductive or sex anatomy. Variations may appear in a person’s chromosomes, genitals, or internal organs like testes or ovaries. Some intersex traits are identified at birth, while others may not be discovered until puberty or later in life.
Lesbian: A female-identified person who is attracted to women
LGBTQ2IA+: An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual, plus all the ways gender non-conforming individual's choose to express identity
Misgendering: Attributing a gender to someone that is incorrect/does not align with their gender identity. Can occur when using pronouns, gendered language (i.e. “Hello ladies!” “Hey guys”), or assigning genders to people without knowing how they identify (i.e. “Well, since we’re all women in this room, we understand…”).
Non-binary: Often used to describe people whose gender is not exclusively male or female, including those who identify with a gender other than male or female, as more than one gender, or as no gender.
Pronouns: The pronoun or set of pronouns that a person identifies with and would like to be called when their proper name is not being used. Examples include “she/her/hers,” “he/him/his,” ze/hir/hirs,” and “they/them/theirs.” Some people prefer no pronouns at all, or some combination such as “she/they.”
Queer: An umbrella term used proudly by some people to defy gender or sexual restrictions. Has been considered offensive in the past, and should only be used if someone self-identifies as queer.
Questioning: The process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations.
Sexual Orientation: A person’s romantic and/or physical attraction to people of the same and/or another gender, such as being straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people may have any sexual orientation.
Transgender: An umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Persons who identify as transgender may or may not pursue medical Transition.
Transition: The time when a person begins living as the gender with which they identify rather than the gender they were assigned at birth, which often includes changing one’s first name and dressing and grooming differently. Transition may or may not also include medical and legal aspects, including taking hormones, having surgery, or changing identity documents (e.g. driver’s license, Social Security record) to reflect one’s gender identity.
Two-Spirit: A term used within some Indigenous communities, encompassing cultural, spiritual, sexual and gender identity. The term reflects complex Indigenous understandings of gender roles, spirituality, and the long history of sexual and gender diversity in Indigenous cultures. Individual terms and roles for Two-Spirit people are specific to each nation.
(Sources: Definitions for Gay, Bisexual, Queer and Questioning retrieved 8/23/21 from National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness • Unless otherwise noted, all definitions are from the Oregon Department of Education’s Guidance on Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment for Transgender Students)