#LGBT History Summer Webinars

HistoryisQueerSignLearn more about your LGBT history with these webinars.  Webinar Sign Up, Link and Recordings


  • June 5: Intro to LGBT History
  • June 12: Social Movements and Teaching LGBT History 
  • June 19: Harlem Renaissance (1920s) and the Lavender Scare (1950s)
  • June 26: Legislation, Laws and Amendments related to LGBT History
  • July 10: Transgender History
  • July 17: Presentations

Webinar Sign Up, Link and Recordings

Learn Your #LGBT History

Graphic.Coursev3LGBT history is American history. Whether you are a teacher or other educator, increase your knowledge of LGBT history.

In support of the FAIR Education Act and the new History Social Science Framework, CSU Monterey Bay is offering the online course, “LGBT History in Schools” in June and July 2018. Register by May 29.  

There are three (3) options or ways to take this course:

Few teachers have learned the content or pedagogy about LGBT history, the new state history framework, the LGBT rights movement or important LGBT people in history beyond Harvey Milk, the Stonewall Riots and Ellen.

This course will provide content and pedagogy for teaching LGBT history. It is designed specifically for educators who teach history in grades 7-12, but may also be useful for others engaged in youth education, such as GSA advisors, diversity centers, non-profits, or anyone interested in learning more about LGBT history.

Since the course is offered online, most anyone is eligible to register for this course. The course lasts over 6 weeks. Twice weekly discussion boards and weekly online course meetings will be required as part of the instruction in addition to various readings.

Read more about signing up for the course since enrollment is limited. Join the conversation on Facebook.

In case you weren’t aware of this legislative history:

  • 2012: California adopted the FAIR Education Act . “Instruction in social sciences shall include the early history of California and a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.”
  • 2016: California Department of Education passed an updated History-Social Science Framework in 2016 that includes LGBT history.
  • 2017: The Department of Education then adopted LGBT history inclusive textbooks .

California adopts #LGBT inclusive history textbooks. List of articles.

Here is a list of the various perspectives written about the approval after the California State Board of Education approved LGBT history inclusive textbooks on Nov. 9, 2017.

NBC News (Nov. 22, 2017) “Was Walt Whitman ‘Gay’? New Textbook Rules Spark LGBTQ History Debate”. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/was-walt-whitman-gay-new-textbook-rules-spark-lgbtq-history-n821636

Daily Californian (Nov. 16, 2017) “California Becomes 1st State to Approve LGBTQ+ inclusive K-8 history textbooks.” http://www.dailycal.org/2017/11/16/california-becomes-1st-state-approve-lgbtq-inclusive-k-8-history-textbooks/

KQED / NPR (Nov. 15, 2017). California Becomes First State to Adopt LGBT-Inclusive Textbooks. https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/11/15/california-textbooks-just-got-a-lesson-in-lgbt-history/

Time Magazine (Nov. 14, 2017) “California is Adopting LGBT-Inclusive History Textbooks. It’s the Latest Chapter in a Centuries-Long Fight.” http://time.com/5022698/california-history-lgbt-textbooks-curriculum/

Daily Beast (Nov. 14, 2017) . California Leads the Way Teaching LGBT History to Schoolchildren. https://www.thedailybeast.com/california-leads-the-way-teaching-lgbt-history-to-schoolchildren

Vallejo Times Herald (Nov. 11, 2017). “State Ed Board oks new K-8 history social science curriculum” http://www.timesheraldonline.com/article/NH/20171110/NEWS/171119956

SCTV Santa Clarita (Nov. 10, 2017). “State School Board Ok’s new emphasis on history social science.” https://scvnews.com/2017/11/10/state-school-board-oks-new-k-8-emphasis-on-history-social-sciences/

California Department of Education Press Release (Nov. 9, 2017) – https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr17/yr17rel82.asp

EdSource (Nov. 9, 2017). “After hours of testimony, California State Board rejects two textbooks; approves 10 others.” https://edsource.org/2017/after-hours-of-testimony-state-board-rejects-two-history-textbooks-approves-10-others/590118

KSBW TV (Nov. 9, 2017). “History classes begin teaching LGBT history.” http://www.ksbw.com/article/history-classes-begin-teaching-about-lgbt/13513656

San Diego LGBT Weekly (Nov. 10, 2017). “California State Board of Education approves LGBTQ inclusive textbooks.” http://lgbtweekly.com/2017/11/10/california-state-board-of-education-approves-lgbtq-inclusive-textbooks/

The Hindu News (Nov. 9, 2017). “Controversial U.S. textbooks get nod.”  http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/controversial-us-textbooks-get-nod/article20109769.ece

Publisher New Releases:


Teaching #LGBTHistory in Ca #FairEducationAct


In 2011, the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful) Education Act  was passed in California. It simply stated:

When adopting instructional materials for use in the schools, governing boards shall include only instructional materials which, in their determination, accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society, including:

(a) The contributions of both men and women in all types of roles, including professional, vocational, and executive roles.

(b) The role and contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups to the total development of California and the United States.

(c) The role and contributions of the entrepreneur and labor in the total development of California and the United States.

In 2016, the State Board of Education adopted an updated History Social Science Framework that included the above changes and the inclusion of LGBT history.

In 2017, the State Board convened 10 panels to review history social science textbooks for alignment with the state history framework and state history standards. The State Board of Education will take action on the recommendations in November 2017.

During the textbook adoption process, there have been over 5000 comments submitted to the California Department of Education – some in support of the updated framework and textbooks and some against. I was interested to read this blogpost from the California Family Council entitled “Tell Sacramento to Keep LGBT Curriculum Out of Elementary Schools.”

For years, history teachers in California have been teaching about various religions without promoting a religion; teachers have been teaching about various cultural norms without promoting a specific culture, and teachers have been teaching about various social movements and civil rights groups without promoting a specific strategy or movement. The study of history is the study of people and events of the past. The California State Framework in it’s introduction states “It is the obligation of the state of California to impart upon all students an engaging and relevant history–social science education that will shape how they participate in their world.”

Teaching LGBT history is one part of history that has not been included in the study of history in the past, but there is a rich history of individuals and events to be told – right along with the study of civil rights, ethnic studies, and women’s rights. LGBT history is part of American history and therefore is now included in California schools. Despite the fact that it is the law in California, inclusion of all people in the study of history better engages all students in their learning and causes more students to be successful and graduate from high school.

As I explain to various groups that I speak with, there is a difference between:

  • Teaching LGBT history
  • Advocating a lifestyle
  • Promoting a religious belief

The FAIR Act and the textbooks currently before the State Board of Education promote the teaching of LGBT history – one important part of American history.


Is #LGBT History Important?

HistoryisQueerSignIn a word, yes.  LGBT Americans have a history in the same way people of other social movements are important. Early in America, one of the first big social movements was the fight for independence – and although not all early colonists agreed on the direction – America eventually gained its independence from England. The early documents – the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution – framed the structure for the government of the U.S.  Within these documents, it guaranteed all Americans life, liberty and happiness.  These documents don’t say that you only get life, liberty and happiness if you are not an immigrant or if you are not a certain religion or if you are not a certain gender or have a certain sexual orientation.  LGBT Americans fought alongside all Americans in every war and in every social movement in America.  So, it makes sense that LGBT Americans also have a history – and a story to tell. Alongside, the American Revolution, women’s rights, civil rights, African American rights, and Latino rights is the LGBT rights movement.  The history of the LGBT rights movement began many years ago but can be most tracked back to the 1950s that began with the signing of Executive Order 10450 by President Eisenhower – and along with the Red Scare, there was the Lavender Scare. This set in motion a series of actions that has moved America towards a more inclusive country. This is an important history and in California and other states, it is now being taught as part of what all students in school will learn.


Five Ways that Running the Santa Cruz #WharftoWharf is like Applying to College. #collegeadmissions #reachhigher

wharttowharf1988.dadblairandychristyThe annual Wharf-to-Wharf Run takes place in Santa Cruz, Ca on the fourth Sunday in July and this week is no exception. This is the 44th year the race has taken place. I’m proud to say that members of my family have been part of the run for about 20 of those years. It has become a family tradition for us that started with running the race when my dad was in his 60s. Our family tradition continues this weekend when 3 out of 5 of us siblings will be in the run as well as various cousins and other extended family members. Added into our family this year will be my 10-year-old nephew who will be running it for the first time with his parents. Here are some photos of our family at past runs.


How is running a race like applying to college? Here are five ways:

1. There is a Start and a Finish:

A run has a start and a finish, just like applying to college has a start and a finish. To run well, you have to practice ahead of time so you are in good shape to run. In applying to college, the earlier you start the better, because those who prepare themselves to apply to college do better than those who don’t.

2. Be Systematic / Create Your Plan:

During a run, there are times when you aren’t sure you can make it. But if you have trained for the run and focus on your plan and breathe right, then you can make it to the end. In applying to colleges, it may seem overwhelming, but getting things done in a systematic way can provide you with the time and energy needed to get everything finished on time for your college applications.

3. Enjoy the Run!

There are 15,000 people who run the Wharf-to-Wharf Run. Along the way there are bands playing throughout the run to entertain the runners. In addition, the run is along the ocean, which provides wonderful morning views. Similarly, enjoy the process of applying to college. Visiting colleges, talking with others in college and figuring out the right colleges to apply to should be fun and adds to your growth as an individual.

4. Wear the Right Clothing:

When running a 10k Run or a marathon, your shoes are the most important part of what you wear. Shoes that are not running shoes or have holes in them will result in sore feet and legs by the end of the run. The same is true for applying for college. If you equip yourself with the right tools – getting good grades, writing out a plan, and then following a plan – the end result is a college acceptance .

5. Goodie Bags at the End!

At the end of the run, there is a photographer and then every runner gets a goodie bag filled with various healthy food snacks as well as the annual Wharf-to-Wharf shirt. In applying to college, the college acceptance is the “goodie bag” because selecting the right college provides you with the right knowledge that leads to a successful career in the future.

Get help in training and planning with your college application “run”, contact us at ForwarDirections !

What do you want to be when you grow up? #collegeadmissions

What do you want to be when you grow up?

familygroup2This is the question many adults ask young people of all ages. Simply asking this question and related questions like it help student to start thinking about and planning for college and the future. In my family, this question was asked by my parents, my grand parents and almost anyone who walked into our house. We grew up knowing we would attend college. When my family went on vacations, we would at least drive through colleges. And, because both my parents graduated from U.C. Berkeley, we would especially tune in during football season and the “Big Game” against Stanford.

College Education Equals More Money

In my family, there was never a question about attending college. In my own research and experiences, I know that it is better to have a college education than not. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, those with a college education earn almost double what a high school graduate earns. Look at the chart below to see the earning power of different types of college graduates.



Now, as an Independent College Admissions Counselor, I know that getting into college involves planning and that planning can never start too early. College going families always talk about college. In addition, parents can do simple things to help their children think and plan for college by talking about college, visiting college websites, and visiting colleges as a family.

In my family, we would talk about our goals, but would not necessarily write down our goals. I now know it is helpful to encourage everyone to write down their goals.  This is another way to make a commitment and learn how to identify the action needed to achieve it. These goals can be simple goals like making a new friend or playing on a sports team or writing in a journal. Or they can be more challenging goals like saving a certain amount of money each year or learning a musical instrument. Successful people write down their goals and have a system for reviewing their goals. Finally, celebrating when goals have been achieved is important as well.

Doing well in school was another expectation in my family. This, of course, helped with getting admitted to a college.  It is important to note that today, the average GPA for students to be admitted to college is a 3.0 or B average for the courses needed to apply to college. Setting those expectations and study skills early such as a school study routine and a quiet study area are two ways to help meet those expectations. If needed, find tutors who can help your child to be successful in difficult subjects. Everyone needs a little help from time to time.


Listen to your child talk about the things he/she likes. Most children indicate a preference at an early age. One student I have worked with talked about how his parents put him in many different sports before he found that he most enjoyed football. Help your child learn about what he or she likes to do by talking about it or encouraging reading about a variety of careers. In my family, each of us charted our own path and ultimately became successful in our own ways. We are now passing that on to our own children.

Finally, it is never too early to start saving money for college. Teach your children the importance of saving money over time and how that money can be used to invest in college in in their future. This can be accomplished by setting up a savings account for your child and visiting your local bank to listen to different ways to save money for college. Here are some ways to save for college.

Top Tips to Help Your Child Plan for College:

  • Talk about college
  • Visit colleges
  • Write down goals
  • Encourage good grades
  • Identify interests
  • Start saving for college now

ForwarDirections can help. Just fill out this form.

Flickr Photos