LGBTQ Community Inclusivity in PTA

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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National PTA and the LGBTQ Community

National PTA believes that schools should be a safe, supportive and respectful environment for all students. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) students are more likely than their peers to be bullied, feel unsafe in school and skip school due to safety concerns. 

Within this climate of hostility, one in six LGBTQ youth report being physically assaulted within the past year because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. And LGBTQ students are two to four times more likely to commit suicide than their non-LGBTQ peers. 

PTAs believe that every child deserves to go to school excited to learn—without the fear of bullying, violence or discrimination. When PTAs respect differences—yet acknowledge shared commonalities, it unifies their communities and allows them to develop meaningful priorities that broadly represent their students, families and school. This strengthens the community they serve with effective volunteer and resource support.

Learn how you can become an advocate for LGBTQ youth in our communities:

Support of LGBTQ

PTA Advocates for LGBTQ Youth

Creating Inclusive Communities for LGBTQ+ Youth

National PTA Position Statements


Position Statement - Inclusive Curricula in K-12 Education
Adopted by the 2020 National PTA Board of Directors, this position statement details the association’s commitment to the creation of innovative curricula and the necessary accompanying professional development to support culturally and linguistically-responsive teaching and learning so that the history of all students—including but not limited to African American, Latino(a), Native American, Asian and LGBTQ groups—is accurately represented and taught.

Position Statement - Libraries and Educational Material
Adopted by the 2003 National PTA Board of Directors, this position statement outlines the association’s beliefs around libraries and educational material as well as the laws, regulations, policies and programs the association urges its members and leaders to monitor, support and advocate for around these topics.

Position Statement - Harmful Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts
Adopted by the 2020 National PTA Board of Directors, this position statement condemns sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, commonly referred to as “conversion therapy,” as proven to be ineffective and pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, provoking mental health conditions that lead to anxiety, depression and suicide.

National PTA Fights as a Student Advocate

National PTA Resolutions


Recognition of LGBTQ Individuals as a Protected Class
Adopted by the 2016 Convention delegates, this resolution formalizes PTA’s support of civil rights legislation, Department of Education Guidance, school policy and more that seeks to protect LGBTQ children and youth.

PTA Guidance on Recognition of LGBTQ Individuals as a Protected Class Resolution
Issued immediately following the adoption of the National Resolution to recognize LGBTQ individuals as a protected class, this guidance offers key background information on the resolution, talking points for PTA members to use in their communities, key terminology for PTA members to use when speaking about LGBTQ children and youth, an overview of relevant federal laws, and additional resources.

National PTA Press Releases


HRC Foundation, 23 Project THRIVE Partners Release Statement Calling for Greater Support of LGBTQ Youth
This press release from the Human Rights Campaign covers National PTA’s recent (October 2020) involvement in a joint statement on the importance of ensuring youth-serving professionals are giving LGBTQ youth the support they need to thrive.

National PTA Statement on Proposed Memo by HHS’s Strict Definition of Gender for Title IX
This 2018 press release details National PTA’s concerns around media reports by the New York Times, Politico and more that the Trump administration was considering a proposal to redefine sex under Title IX as strictly male or female.

National PTA Disappointed with Administration's Rescission of Guidance to Protect Transgender Students
This 2017 press release addressed National PTA’s concerns around the Trump Administration’s recission of guidance under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

National PTA, GLSEN, Education Organizations Submit Joint Amicus Brief to Supreme Court in Support of Gavin Grimm and Transgender Students
This 2017 press release details National PTA’s involvement in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court support of Gavin Grimm in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board.

National PTA Joins 11 Other Child Welfare Groups Calling Out State Bills Attacking Trans Youth
This post on the Human Rights Campaign website outlines National PTA’s involvement in a 2017 letter cowritten with 11 other child welfare organizations to call out state bills that would discriminate against transgender children.

Support for LGBTQ Students and Families

National PTA Tools


LGBTQ Glossary
National PTA partnered with the Human Rights Campaign to develop a glossary to help ensure your PTA understands and uses appropriate, affirming language to create inclusive environments for LGBTQ children and families.

2024-2025 Multicultural Calendar
The rich diversity in our communities is reflected in the observances celebrated by various cultures and populations. The National PTA Center for Family Engagement has created this Multicultural Calendar to highlight and celebrate the diversity in our PTA and school communities. Leer en Español.

2023 Legislative Asks: Welcoming and Supportive Schools
PTA firmly believes that all students—including students from historically marginalized communities—have the right to a high-quality, equitable education in a welcoming, supportive and inclusive school. Every student can reach their full potential when the school environment is one in which they are accepted, truly valued and can authentically be themselves.

Notes from the Backpack Podcast


Notes from the Backpack is a PTA podcast designed for millions of parents and the decisionmakers they influence. Each episode features engaging conversations that offer real-life advice and ideas on how to support children’s learning and development—all in parent-friendly language.

Harleigh Walker and Jeff Walker

Episode 74:Leading Alongside Transgender Youth

We were joined by teen transgender activist, Harleigh Walker, and her father, Jeff Walker, to share their advocacy experience combatting policies that harm LGBTQ+ students. View episode resources.

How to Help LGBTQ Youth Thrive

Episode 37: How to Help LGBTQ Youth Thrive

We welcome two guests from the Human Rights Campaign, Ellen Kahn, senior director of programs and partnerships, and Jodie Patterson, board chair of the HRC Foundation, to learn how to become better allies to the LGBTQ community. View episode resources.

10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way


10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way is dedicated to topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion! Tune in to learn from PTA leaders and experts in the field of ways you can make your PTA efforts more equitable.

Episode 6: Let's Talk about Allyship

How can you know if you're being a good ally? In this video, Amy Lyle, a parent and member of The Human Rights Campaign, shares the story of her allyship journey and what she has learned along the way. She also provides tips to help you be the best ally you can be to other marginalized populations in your community.

National PTA Webinars

Welcoming LGBTQ Parents to PTA
Welcoming LGBTQ Parents to PTA
Supporting LGBTQ Students: Bullying Prevention
Supporting LGBTQ Students: Bullying Prevention
Creating Inclusive Communities for LGBTQ+ Youth
Creating Inclusive Communities for LGBTQ+ Youth

National PTA Resources


Nurturing Healthy, Safe Relationships for LGBTQ+ Youth: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
This guide developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention can help parents and caregivers provide relational support to LGBTQ+ youth in their lives. This could include their child or other children, like nieces, nephews, students, or neighbors. It gives parents and caregivers the information they need to have helpful conversations and provides them with the resources they may need to discuss safe and healthy relationships. Having supportive relationships with parents and other adults can help LGBTQ+ youth live happier, healthier lives!

Mental Health Initiative
National PTA’s mental health webpage includes webinars and resources that PTAs can use to implement new policies, services and supports to improve the overall mental health in your schools and families. One recent webinar on the page, Taking Action to Improve Mental Health, was produced in collaboration with The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to providing confidential support for LGBTQ youth in crisis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Children and Families Resource Page
This page in the Local PTA Leader Kit provides a list of resources PTA leaders can use to support their community. It also includes a list of key strategies to increase inclusion of LGBTQ families.

HRC: Project Thrive
National PTA is a partner organization in the Human Rights Campaign’s Project Thrive. Project THRIVE is a collaborative effort of many national organizations, each committed to identifying opportunities within their own sphere of influence to increase awareness about and provide resources to address the unmet needs of LGBTQ youth and to highlight best practices and success stories from their respective professional fields.

Human Rights Campaign

LGBTQ in National PTA Media

Our Children: National PTA's Unique Voice for Parents


4 Ways to Support LGBTQ+ Youth During Quarantine
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, LGBTQ+ youth may be feeling particularly isolated due to quarantine. Here are four ways you can help.

LGBTQ History Month 101
In honor of LGBTQ History Month, learn more about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning community and explain why support groups in schools matter.

Understanding What Transgender Means
Supportive adults play a significant role in the lives of transgender students. Understanding what it means to be transgender is essential to helping youth.

5 Great Kids Books that Highlight Diversity
When children encounter diversity through books, they can learn to be empathetic, informed members of their communities who fight back against injustices.

Bias & Hate: What to Do When it Happens at Your School
Find out how one Maryland PTSA responded to a racist incident at their high school and get tips on how to bring your school community together.

National PTA

PTA is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the association. If you have witnessed or experienced bias in your PTA, please reach out to