SFUSD Celebrates 30 Years of LGBTQ Student Services

Queer kids need to be recognized especially during isolation.

- Cassidy, Wallenberg High School
Queer Trans Advisory Council

This month, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is proud to honor the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning members of our community in celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month. For 30 years since 1991, LGBTQ Student Services has remained resolved to making all our schools welcoming and affirming for LGBTQ students and families. And now, as we live through a pandemic and social protests against continued violence against Black, Brown and AAPI youth and adults, we remember that the first Pride events were uprisings. As Dr. Mauro Sifuentes said last year at the Lavender Commencement celebration, “For queer and trans people, this is not our first pandemic nor is it likely to be our last. The HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 90s taught [our] elders many lessons about advocacy, urgency, community and resilience, as well as lessons of grief, pain and healing.”

This work has continued throughout distance learning and has been the mission of SFUSD’s LGBTQ Student Services (part of the Student Family Services Division) for over 30 years, aiming to support educators with tools and resources to support LGBTQ students and families. Our work prioritizes rebuilding social relationships among students, families, schools, and communities more broadly.

A highlight of our work is the Queer and Trans Advisory Council (QTAC), a space designed for LGBTQ+ high school student leaders from across SFUSD to step more fully into their leadership. In QTAC, students advise staff on how the district can best support LGBTQ students even through distrance learning. As June Jordan QTAC leader, Reesa, states: “Working through the limited confines of social distancing and other safety regulations has not been the smoothest transition but QTAC has remained strong. I feel as though, while more inconvenient, COVID has opened new opportunities to do bigger projects.”

Pride this year means we are celebrating virtually with small student groups, like GSAs and QGroups, virtual bulletin boards and interactive slide decks, and read alouds --and so we continue our efforts to create affirming learning environments where every student is supported in learning to the best of their abilities. Cynthia, a QTAC leader from Thurgood Marshall High reminds us: “It is especially important during this pandemic because most teens are living in an environment that may not be the most welcoming, and by making sure that every LGBTQ+ student is celebrated, we can show them that there is still support outside of their environment.” Once again, the voices of our students lead the way as a reminder to us, that while the pandemic has been challenging, we can -- and are -- celebrating our LGBTQ students and community members this year too!

To learn more about our LGBTQ Student Services visit sfusd.edu/LGBTQ.

Who We Are

LGBTQ Student Services aims to provide school sites the resources and district support to meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth and families.