On July 20, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) introduced their LGBTQI+ and Women’s History Education Act. This bill would authorize the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to develop and disseminate resources for classrooms to teach LGBTQI+ and women’s history education in an inclusive and intersectional manner.
“Make no mistake – LGBTQI+ youth are under attack by Republican legislators across the country. Earlier this month, 10 anti-LGBTQI laws went into effect that target students, including Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill. This is unacceptable and will be detrimental to the mental health of LGBTQI+ youth, which is why I introduced the LGBTQI+ and Women’s History Education Act,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Women, too, deserve to be seen and represented in the classroom. For too long, this country has downplayed the historical contributions of women, especially women of color. I have led the fight to create a national museum on women, and the LGBTQI+ and Women’s History Education Act continues that legacy to ensure that women’s history is taught nationwide.”
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That is why children in classrooms across the US should not be deprived of the opportunity to learn about the heroism displayed by many in the LGBTQ and women’s movements,” said Congressman Torres. “As Republican legislatures across the country attempt to silence the history and stories of LGBTQ families, we must act to proactively educate American youth. I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me to make it possible for me to be the first openly gay Afro-Latino to be in Congress, and I am proud to work with Congresswoman Maloney on this critical legislation.”
“Education is the cornerstone of a multi-racial democracy, and learning about LGBTQIA+ and women’s history is necessary to understanding U.S. history,” said GLSEN Executive Director, Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. “Through our research, we know inclusive curriculum cultivates safer and more supportive school environments where students hear fewer racial, transphobic, and homophobic slurs and other denigrating language; experience fewer incidents of bullying and harassment; and have a greater sense of belonging and wellbeing that allows them to thrive and reach their full potential. We’re so proud to see Congresswoman Maloney championing this bill, which will support educators in teaching lesson plans that promote positive visibility and representation of all communities.”
“All children should be able to see themselves and their families reflected and represented in media, and in what they read and learn in school,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Women’s history, LGBTQ history and the heroes who have led our movements inspire all generations about the progress we’ve achieved and the work still to be done. Funding programs to improve the diversity and inclusivity of education is something everyone should support. LGBTQ people continue to contribute to their communities and country and are an important part of history.”
“By introducing this bill, the members of the House of Representatives recognize the importance of ensuring the lives and experiences of women and LGBTQI+ are not ignored in the study of history,” said Olivia Hunt, policy director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “What’s past is prologue, and today’s girls and LGBTQI+ youth deserve to see themselves fairly and accurately represented in history so that they can better see a place for themselves in contemporary American society, and in the future that they’ll be building.”
Full text of the bill can be found here.