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LGBTQ Inclusive Language
- Don't assume all students are straight and cisgender.
- Don't assume being LGBTQ is a problem.
- Don't "out" people. A student may be out with a few trusted people at school, but may not be out at home.
- Allow students to self-identify. Labels may change as young people discover the identity that fits.
- Don't make assumptions about students' gender identity.
- Watch for connotative bias. Phrases like "sexual preference" or "alternative lifestyle" suggest a choice.
- Consider the power of words. Phrases like "that's so gay" suggest being gay is bad.
- Avoid negative expressions about gender (such as "man up," "you throw like a girl," "don't be a sissy").
- Be careful about unintentional heterosexism (try "date" instead of boyfriend or girlfriend, "parents" for mom and dad, or "spouse" for husband or wife).
- Confront bullying and bias.
Weinberg, Michael (2009). LGBT-Inclusive Language. English Journal, 98(4), 50-51.
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