CTZN 410

Queer Virginia was the title of my symposium course, and it explored the hidden history of LGBTQ people in Virginia. This course was definitely different than all my other courses, and was a big eye opener. I’ve always considered myself an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, but until this course, I never realized how little I was helping, and how much work had gone into erasing queer history and keeping from being taught. Before taking this class, I had never actually gotten any formal education where queer history or individuals were the main topics, or even mentioned. I was so shocked to realize this, and was even more shocked to learn about queer erasure and the different lengths states are going to, to try and prevent any mention of LGBTQ topics in schools. From sex ed, to gender identity, to the right to have information kept private with school counselors, so much is being revoked or banned in schools and eliminating safe spaces for students. This is probably the course I talked about the most with others this semester, and I felt like I had a responsibility to tell others what I was learning about. It was interesting to see the reactions to what I told them, but also to just the name of the course. The word “Queer” is still regarded by many as a slur, but in this class it is seen as an umbrella term to include any that feel they fit outside societal norms when it comes to both gender and sexual identity. Overall I learned a lot from this course and hope to keep up with current events regarding LGBTQ matters. The hardest part of this course was the workload, there was a lot of reading and outside time spent on multiple ongoing projects throughout the semester.

The class as a whole worked on website as a group project called the “Queer Heart of Virginia.” I was apart of the education committee and worked on updating information and writing articles to add to the website. Unfortunately timing meant they weren’t added, but the class taking over in the Spring should add them eventually! Below is the link to the current website, along with an example of an SOL Recommendation I researched and wrote up to help teachers incorporated LGBTQ issues into their curriculum.

Queer Heart of VA (Fall 2022)


Example of SOL recommendation here