Jazz Jennings, transgender icon, multi-award winner, and star of TLC’s “I Am Jazz”
This book is sure to be the go-to resource for LGBT+ inclusion in schools. Kryss is an extraordinary educator and anyone reading this book is sure to experience Kryss' passion for inclusion. Kryss is one of the greatest allies to the LGBT+ community I've ever met; she is a dear friend and truly one of a kind. I know that readers will learn more from this book than from any other existing resource and I emphatically support this book!
Dr. Jonathan Singer, President of the American Association of Suicidology
Kryss Shane has created an invaluable resource for any school administrator, curriculum expert, or advocate who wants to make sure that schools are affirming of sexual and gender diversity. For many years, the mental health and education professionals have sounded the alarm bell about the role of schools in LGBTQ+ suicide risk. We know that LGBTQ+ youth experience harassment by peers and teachers, physical and sexual assault because of perceived sexual orientation or gender identity and have thoughts of suicide and make suicide attempts 2x - 7x as often as cisgender heterosexual students. The "safe schools" movement is not enough. We must and highlight the beautiful life that queer kids can have and that is exactly what Kryss Shane has done with her book. She has provided foundational information about LGBTQ+ youth and how schools can integrate affirming content into their curriculum and school environment. Not a moment too soon.
Andrea Shorter, Co-Founder, Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition, Former Director of Community Relations, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
In my decades long journey as an advocate and policy maker promoting diversity, inclusion, fairness, and equality, Kryss Shane shines among - and often above - the most dedicated, sincere, seasoned, and effective leaders in the field. This publication could not be more timely. If you are an advocate, an educator, a parent, a co-worker, friend or neighbor to an LGBT+ identified youth, Kryss is the most engaging go-to coach and educator on best practices for creating safe and supportive spaces for including LGBT+ youth that are thoughtful, humane, and encouraging to all committed to the idea that all youth have a right to a solid, safe, and healthy and compassionate community. What Kryss provides in these pages is the interactive coaching and guidelines that many educators have been waiting for to help create and advance that kind of environment where all youth can thrive.
Mary Jo Kilroy, former Member of Congress (CD-OH-15) and member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus
All parents want their children attend a school that is safe and treats them with respect, regardless of their child's race, sex, national origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. To create schools that are welcoming to all children - with learning environments designed and equipped to create in students a sense of well-being - we must understand and teach how to be inclusive and tolerant of each other and appreciate our differences and similarities. This is particularly important for LGBTQ students who are too often verbally or physically harassed. An inclusive approach will improve the learning environment, help all children succeed, and make our schools stronger and safer.
Asaf Orr, Esq. Senior Staff Attorney & Transgender Youth Project Director National Center for Lesbian Rights
Creating LGBT+ inclusive curricula and inclusive school spaces is not only best practice, it is also consistent with a school's legal obligations to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students. In doing this work, I've met many educators and administrators who are eager to create LGBT+ inclusive environments and curricula but are unsure how to do it and whether they have the tools to do it well. This book provides this information to administrators and educators in a thorough and easily accessible manner and is vital to ensuring that all students, including LGBT+ students, have equal educational opportunity.
Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, victorious litigants in the landmark 2013 case in which the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of their then-6 year old transgender child to use the girls bathroom at her elementary school in Colorado.
All humans yearn for and deserve unconditional love. Unconditional requires acceptance as they are, with no exceptions. Adults, particularly adults in authority positions, lead the world and have power over children in nearly every way. When schools are not LGBT+ inclusive, it's telling our children - our future - that they are not worthy of love and acceptance for who they are or of even being here. Being inclusive is not difficult and it literally saves our children's lives. Ms. Shane's vast expertise and experience with the LGBT+ population provides a golden opportunity for schools to learn properly the first time around and avoid detrimental mistakes as they train staff and create inclusive policies.
Marti Gould Cummings, New York City Council Candidate (Manhattan’s District 7), Luminary Award Winner for Dedication to Homeless LGBTQ Youth and listed on the 2018 Out 100 list for OUT Magazine
LGBTQ activism has been a part of our nations for generations and as we continue to gain rights there are movements that work to take away and deny rights for LGBTQ people. The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion is vital because having our history taught in schools will help to elevate acceptance and equality.
Susan Mankita, LCSW, Florida International University Educator, NASW Pioneer, and 2019 NASW-FL President
As a professional social worker, I've seen how young people can be deeply wounded by the impact of biases and bullying. School educators and staff, bolstered by thoughtful, sensitive policies and training that embraces diversity via The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion can create a protective, inclusive and growth-producing environment for LGBT+ youth. Kryss Shane's brings a near lifelong passion as an ally, along with her social worker's ability to bear witness to human struggles and identify solutions to her writing. Her gift lies with her skill at helping others think deeply about these often marginalized groups, and this makes hers an important voice in education.
James Valletti, theatrical Director and Producer including Off-Broadway’s Tales from the Tunnel” and many other Broadway and Off-Broadway works
LGBT+ inclusivity and education in schools is extremely important, not only for children, but for their families and home environments as well. Many parents and grandparents grew up in a time with significantly less open discourse about issues of sexuality. Through The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion, children can learn and be exposed to issues concerning the LGBT community in a setting that is open, honest/accurate, and sensitive. This book gives hope that children will take this knowledge home with them and 'educate up,' encouraging positive discourse within their own homes, families, and communities. Kryss is a caring and kind open soul, sensitive to the needs of others, with a deep connection to the LGBT+ community. She's personally and professionally been there for members of my circle who have struggled with loss, depression, anxiety, and grief. I recommend her and follow her guidance on all matters of LGBT+ unhesitatingly.
Fredi Walker-Browne. Actress, Writer, Director. Creator of The Professional Skills for Actors Series™ and founder of Big Spoon Productions, as well as Joanne in the Original Broadway Company of RENT
We send our children to school for an education, but "education" reaches far beyond the three R's. Social development can often eclipse academic achievement in both positive and negative ways. The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion provides these vital components. Children who are allowed express themselves and be themselves, without fear of recriminations, excel in scholastics as well as in life. Kryss Shane has dedicated her life to fostering the equality of LGBTQ people. She made the decision while still a schoolgirl, a child with the press of mind to ask herself, would I be brave enough to befriend the "weird" kid? Would that we all could have that kind of empathy with our fellow humans.
Melissa Canaday, Television, Film, and Theater Actor, charity fundraiser. Wife and Mother to television, film, and Broadway actors, Aunt to Trevor Canaday
From the start in her life, Kryss has demonstrated a deep caring of all people, but especially those at risk, the LGBTQ community. I've long watched Kryss be a woman deeply committed to caring for and defending any LGBTQ person, and she has continued to be a strong vocal activist for this community. Her compassion runs deep, and, through reading The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion, every reader will experience her love of all people and working hard to expand the minds of those confused by those individuals who identify as the opposite gender. I'm proud to know her and if you are a LGBTQ individual and need support, you only need to reach out to Kryss for that Extra Special Love and Understanding.
Richard E. Waits, Broadway actor and creator of his one-man show, “Mama Rose”
The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion is a must read for all education professionals because the purpose of school is to help prepare students to function in world and LGBT+ people are a valuable part of the functioning world. Kryss Shane is a perfect person to discuss LGBT+ issues because she's been in the field, helping, listening and advocating for so many LGBT+ people. Her over 23 years training and multiple degrees are only the tip of the iceberg. It's her actual showing up, face to face advocacy both big and small is what makes her special. No one else should be better trusted on the needs of LGBT+ youth than Kryss!
Genevieve Buechner, film and television actress, including The 100, Caprica, UnREAL and Supernatural
I strongly believe having an inclusive school environment is essential to normalizing and breaking down the stigmas surrounding LGBTQ+ issues and The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion is the perfect way to make this happen. It is very important for youth to learn in a space where they feel acknowledged. Some people might not have support at home, which can cause terrible mental strain and having support available at school can help relieve those stresses. I think it is equally as important for students who do not identify as LGBT+ to learn about it and build an understanding so they become empathetic members of society. Kryss is the right person to train American educators because her significant experience is second to none and she offers guidance in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable.
Michelan Sisti, 30+ years as a Muppets and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop performer, including “Michaelangelo” in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films
In these times, when some forces work to tear apart the fabric of our society and our relationships, particularly for those identified as an "other," we need informed and effective voices to calm, educate, and unify. Kryss Shane is that voice. With a wonderfully engaging demeanor, and two and a half decades of education, training, and experience in this field, Kryss has not only focused on the ways that education and mental wellness supports the LGBT community and improves lives, she has actually done it. The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion will be a huge asset and driving force, for any school that aims to create and support a more inclusive society.
Julia Handelman, Elementary School Teacher and Founder of Youth Yoga Project
I know that my students can't thrive in my classroom unless they feel safe, supported and valued. It is my job to create an inclusive classroom community that celebrates diversity. It's important that I use teaching materials students can relate to and see themselves in. My job is to choose words that are inclusive and don't communicate assumptions about gender.
Dr. Bryant Horowitz, Neuropsychologist and Professor at East Los Angeles College
Students who attend schools without LGBT+ inclusion forces them to be always mindful of hiding who they are and avoiding being found out. The brain would be distracted by negative thoughts, would undergo the consequences of fight/flight mode which provides further distraction, and cognitive abilities would be inhibited by the fear and anxiety caused by this. In the same breadth, living in fear of others outing or bullying, even if it had not happened, can create this same amount of fear and anxiety in the brain, and have similar consequences to cognitive abilities and the chance to learn and retain information. When students and staff are free from fears of bullying or being outed, they are much better equipped to focus and much more receptive to information and for their brain to use that knowledge to be encoded, processed, consolidated (to long term memory while we sleep), and remembered (able to be retrieved/recalled from said long term memory). This greatly increases the chances of maximizing their potential.
13 year old student who identifies as LGBT+
When people at school found out I'm LGBT+, I didn't worry about whether my friends would still like me. I worried about whether my teacher would still like me and if being LGBT+ meant I would never get picked to be 'Student of the Week.' When I got picked the next week for the award, I was so happy because it meant my teacher didn't hate me or think I was weird or gross because I'm LGBT+.
16 year old student who identifies as transgender
I would never admit this to my friends, but I DO care what my teachers and my principal think of me. Being transgender is part of who I am, but I am also someone who wants to get all As, who plays volleyball, and a million other things. I want to be able to go to school and have school staff see me as all of those things, not just as 'the transgender student.
17 year old student who identifies as gay
I didn't start getting bullied for being gay until my history teacher started making jokes about it during class. He told me I was 'being too sensitive' when I told him I didn't like it. Soon, it seemed like I couldn't go to any class without a classmate or another teacher making a joke about it. I know they thought they were funny, but it made me hate school. If there wouldn't have been an online school to transfer to, I would have just dropped out.
Middle school teacher who identifies as a lesbian, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her employment
I tell my colleagues that the reason I live 2 hours from our school is because I need to live near my family. I don't tell them that my family is my wife and our kids. I can't risk accidentally bumping into someone from work while out on a date night or taking our kids for ice cream. If the superintendent or principal found out I'm gay, I know they could fire me. I don't know whether they would, but I can't risk it. I love being a teacher and I love my wife, so I drive 2 hours each way every day, so I don't have to choose between the two
Claire L. Dent, Professor of Social Work, West Chester UniversityNew Social Worker Magazine
[This] text should be on every teacher's and school administrator's bookshelf, and required reading in university education and social work programs.