History Unerased aims to cast light on gay Americans in schoolsBreaking News
For generations, young Americans could go all the way through high school without learning that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have long been part of their country's history.
Spurred by gay rights victories at the Supreme Court and elsewhere in recent years, a Lowell, Massachusetts-based organization called History Unerased is trying to change that by training teachers to bring that knowledge to U.S. classrooms.
"People who we label and understand as LGBTQ today have always existed in every nation, in every belief system, in every ethnicity," said co-founder Debra Fowler, using a version of the acronym that can mean "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning.”
The former high-school teacher started the nonprofit group with a colleague in 2015. It is the only entity licensed by the U.S. Department of Education to provide lesson-ready curricula covering LGBT issues.
The program, which includes historical documents such as newspapers, letters and interviews, ranges from having second-graders talk about a boy who was made fun of in the 1950s for acting differently from his classmates to discussions for high schoolers about the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.
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