Additional Suggested Practices

  • Maintain solid boundaries. Sometimes when a person learns about the sexual or gender identity of another person, they feel that the boundaries of the relationship have altered. It is important that we keep in mind that when it comes to our students, the boundaries have not shifted. For example, if you learn a student is transgender, it is not okay to ask them about their hopes for future surgeries.

  • Educate yourself on LGBTQIA2S+ identities and topics. Do not rely on your LGBTQIA2S+ students to be the primary resource of your knowledge on this topic.

Use Inclusive Language

  • Check your assumptions about a student’s identity, sexuality, pronouns, marital/relationship status, and/or the gender of their partner(s).

  • Use gender-inclusive language when speaking generally. For example, refrain from using phrases like “Ladies and Gentleman” and “you guys.”

  • Avoid or expand honorifics. Refrain from using gendered honorifics like “Mr.” or “Ms.” If you do use honorifics, allow students to select the honorific that best aligns with their identity and include “Mx.” as an option. “Mx.” is pronounced “mix” or “mixter” and is often used as an honorific for nonbinary, agender, and genderqueer people.

  • Listen for, honor, and mirror the language a student uses to self-identify.

In Class Discussions and Lectures

  • When calling on a student, use the name and pronouns they have asked you to use.

  • Do not rely on LGBTQIA2S+ students to speak for all LGBTQIA2S+ people. They are experts on their own experience, but that does not mean they are able to speak for a community as diverse as the LGBTQIA2S+ community.

  • Be mindful of LGBTQIA2S+ stereotypes.

  • Interrupt bias when it happens and model inclusive behavior.

  • Include LGBTQIA2S+ topics and identities, share the stories of LGBTQIA2S+ people, and assign readings by LGBTQIA2S+ authors.

About this Page

The information on this page was used with permission from The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center at Michigan State University.