Chapter 20: Beyond Expanding an Acronym: Strategies for Supporting LGBTQ+ People in Schools

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Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

A Field Guide to Managing Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Organisations




Despite attempts to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in educational institutions in the USA, efforts have not been as effective as anticipated due to their superficial scope. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how DEI work in schools can specifically support people who identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/transgender, queer/questioning, and more) and address the issues they face. We explain the LGBTQ+ acronym and the importance of representation via language and policy. We discuss some international, USA specific, and personal contexts as well as our theoretical grounding. Next, we present an overview of some challenges organizations face when recruiting and retaining LGBTQ+ people. We then provide a series of research-informed strategies to support LGBTQ+ people highlighting best practices such as including the multiple perspectives and experiences within the LGBTQ+ community, when and how to ask for gender pronouns, and engaging in ongoing education.


Georgia Southern University faculty members, Peggy Shannon-Baker and Nikki DiGregorio co-authored Chapter 20: Beyond expanding an acronym: strategies for supporting LGBTQ+ people in schools.