PRIDE Past into Present, and Pronouns!

Updated: Sep 18


June is Pride Month, a time dedicated to promoting and celebrating LGTBQIA+ people as a group (see below for a guide on these letters!). Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGTBQIA+ rights movements.

Over the past 50 years, pride events, marches and demonstrations have evolved considerably. In nations where LGBTQ+ people are protected and acceptance is high, many pride events have grown in scale, welcoming millions of visitors to their celebrations.

Major cities like New York, São Paulo and Madrid host some of the largest events in the world with crowds of up to 5 million people (according to the The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association).




Week Two: PRIDE Past into Present, and Pronouns!

Although PRIDE celebration began officially only about 50 years ago- it's important to know people have been living authentic lives in regards to diverse gender expression, identity, and sexual orientation for thousands of years, even before modern terminology existed.


Community Spotlight : Interviews with James Gage and Oren Smith


20 LGBT+ People Who Changed the World

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have existed as long as humanity itself. We've made history and important contributions even in the face of societies that discriminate against us or pretend we do not exist.

In celebration of these lives and achievements, here are just a few of the notable LGBT figures throughout time who have changed the world for the better. 20 LGBT People Who Changed the World

A Brief History of LGBTQAI+ Notable Figures - Past into Present


As mentioned last week, the LGBTQAI+ community encompasses and includes a diverse and beautiful spectrum of people. To better understand the groups and individuals, and how to include, we will share information about gender and pronouns.

There are lots of ways to think about gender...

Check out this Gender Unicorn to consider all the places and ways gender lives in our body and mind.

Gender Identity: One’s internal sense of being male, female, neither of these, both, or another gender(s). Everyone has a gender identity, including you. For transgender people, their sex assigned at birth and their own internal sense of gender identity are not the same. Female/woman/girl and male/man/boy are common gender identities. People who are non-binary may be both, or neither, and there are many other gender identities beyond the male/female binary.

Gender Expression/Presentation: The physical manifestation of one’s gender identity through clothing, hairstyle, voice, body shape, etc. Many transgender people seek to make their gender expression (how they look) match their gender identity (who they are), rather than their sex assigned at birth.

Sex Assigned at Birth: The assignment and classification of people as male, female, intersex, or another sex is based on a combination of anatomy, hormones, or chromosomes. It is important we don’t simply use “sex” because of the vagueness of the definition of sex and its place in transphobia. Chromosomes are frequently used to determine sex from prenatal karyotyping (although not as often as genitalia). Chromosomes do not always determine genitalia, sex, or gender.

Physically Attracted To: Sexual orientation. It is important to note that sexual and romantic/emotional attraction can be from a variety of factors including but not limited to gender identity, gender expression/presentation, and sex assigned at birth.

Emotionally Attracted To: Romantic/emotional orientation. It is important to note that sexual and romantic/emotional attraction can be from a variety of factors including but not limited to gender identity, gender expression/presentation, and sex assigned at birth. There are other types of attraction related to gender such as aesthetical or platonic. These are simply two common forms of attraction.


Pronouns are words we use when referring to people in speaking and writing. Pronouns are associated with gender, and are important to be aware of so people feel seen and validated.

Examples of common pronouns people use: she/her/hers, he/him/his, and they/them/theirs. There are countless other pronouns people use.

When Elliot Page came out as Trans, he shared that he AND they were his pronouns- that meant he was ok with both.

In the past, people called them “preferred pronouns” however, the word “preferred” has been removed from the phrase- because of the implication that preference is optional, and using correct pronouns is mandatory.

How to know what pronouns to use for someone else?

Some people will just tell you their pronouns if they are comfortable with telling you.

When in doubt just use they/them, it is neutral!

Getting comfortable with pronouns:

For a more in depth dialog on Gender Identity and Pronouns please see Pittsford PTSA DEI Presentation, The Important of Pronouns.

Kindergarten teacher explains how she handles pronouns: It really is that simple. From @ms.henryyy: If a child is old enough to experience it then they’re old enough to learn about it. Everyone has pronouns and discussing them is appropriate for all ages! I’ve done explicit, typed out, organized and neatly worded lesson plans on social in/justice, which have been meaningful. There are also times when a simple question is asked or a comment is made that is just as meaningful in how I’ve responded.

Shows that Feature LGTBQ Characters!

Whether you are queer, an ally, or just like great TV, celebrate PRIDE by curling up and watching some of these shows listed (with age appropriate ratings) on Characters on television are more diverse than ever, and there's been a notable rise in the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters, reality stars, and talk show hosts. Series that feature diverse characters (Glee, The Fosters) as well as real-life inspirations and LGBTQ+ icons such as Laverne Cox and RuPaul continue to pave the way for even more representation on television.

For more great LGBTQ+ stories, check out our lists of books and movies with LGBTQ+ characters.

Recommended Books

Representation matters. Providing Multicultural literacy benefits all people. The concept of providing windows(where a person can see into another person's life and cultural experiences). Those windows can become sliding glass doors where a person can for a time walk into someone's experiences, and broaden their empathy and perspective of the world. Lastly mirrors are important to reflect oneself back. Having LGBTQAI+ representation in books, and in own voice authors is critically important.

We please find below a handful of beloved books we have read.

PCSD Librarian Recommendations:

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno

From Follett: "Traces the history of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today's world"

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pittman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

From School Library Journal: "Filled with saturated colors and vivid illustrations, this picture book uses rhyming couplets to convey the fun and exuberate feelings assocated with a pride parade for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and families."

The List of Things that Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead, gr. 4 and up

From the publisher: "Despite her parents' divorce, her father's coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents' unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father's lake house."

More recommended titles from our Contributing PCSD Students/Families:

It Feels Good to Be Yourself - A Book About Gender Identity By Theresa Thorn Illustrated by Noah Grigni (age 4-8)

Provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic of gender identity with sensitivity.

When Aidan Became a Brother Written by Kyle Lukoff, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Age 4-7)

A touching story of a trans boy becoming an older sibling and reflecting on his younger days.

Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History Hardcover – Written by Sarah Prager Illustrated by Sarah Papworth (age 8-12)

This book gives you a great look at a fifty people throughout history and across the globe.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (Ages 8-12)

In this touching fictional story, you can follow a child Grayson AMAB(assigned male at birth) who is experiencing gender dysphoria.

Beyond the Gender Binary By Alok Vaid-Menon (Teen/YA)

Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist. A small but mighty book to expand ones perspective.

The Best At It By Maulik Pancholy (Age 8-12)

A story of an indian american boy, who experiences perfectionism, stereotypes, and coming to terms with his sexuality.

Juliet Takes a Breath Paperback by Gabby Rivera (12-17)

A story of a life changing summer internship for Juliet who is coming out and into herself. This book offers a window into some of the complex issues in the white feminism movement.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Young Adult)

An own voice futuristic read, where the Trans character's gender identity is not the main focus, but a small part of a deeper story.

Series: Carry on & Wayward Son (Book 3- Any Way the Wind Blows coming July 2021) By Rainbow Rowell (Age 13-17)

Fans of Twilight or Harry Potter may appreciate these fantasy love stories.

ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell

A detailed look for young adults or parents at LGBT+ terms and definitions. A powerful and detailed book to help parents, or those who may be questioning their gender or sexuality better understand a variety of content.

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski (YA)

A detailed history written for young people that shows the presence of LGBT people in the United States over the past 400 years.

This Is How It Always Is By Laurie Frankel (Adult)

A fiction account whose author is the parent of a transgender child. Takes the reader on an intimate journey through a families discovery of their 5th and youngest child's gender expression and identity.

Craving more book ideas? Welcoming Schools (Through HRC) provides numerous resources that cover LGBTQAI+ and intersecting identity issues.


TrevorLifeline : Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386.


The Pittsford Central PTSA DEI Committee seeks to celebrate ALL residents and truly value diversity and inclusion. We emphasize that our differences truly make us better. We know that it is essential to create welcoming schools and classrooms where differences in language, culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, unique abilities, etc., are viewed as assets rather than deficits. An awareness and acceptance of these differences are foundational to the success of all students.

As a small group of volunteers, we acknowledge we may be incomplete in our coverage of this topic. For that reason - we welcome you to contact us with suggestions and additions regarding any of this material, you may reach the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee via our feedback form below. We can add more to our posts throughout the month and plan to build on this material in future years.


Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Seneca people as the traditional custodians of the land that we are on and for their enduring presence. We would also like to pay respects to Elders past and present of the Hodinöhsö:ni' Confederacy, and we extend that respect to any other indigenous people who are present with us today. We make this acknowledgment as a first step in fulfilling our responsibility to critically look at colonial histories and their present-day implications as we pay respect to the keepers of the land, and the land itself. We are aware that acknowledgment is not reparation, and land acknowledgment without active steps towards education, support of the Seneca Nation, and sincere efforts to undo colonial legacies means very little.