LGBTQ History Month Lesson Plan

Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Middle and High School Students Featuring Heroes who have advanced LGBT rights and acceptance - includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

LGBTQ History Month LP
Credit: MY HERO

LGBT History Month is a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the LGBT civil rights movements. Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher from Missouri, created LGBT History Month in 1994. He chose October because it included National Coming Out Day (October 11) and the anniversary of the first march on Washington by LGBT people on October 14, 1979.

History of the LGBTQ movement and early activists. 

This film, The Top 10 Important LGBTQ Movements in US History, looks at the most important LGBTQ milestones in US History. These moments include the Stonewall Riots, the first Pride parade, the publishing of The Transsexual Phenomenon,  the passing of the Matthew Shepard Act, and more. Although the introduction of bills and laws is definitely monumental, the filmmakers have chosen to exclude events like the introduction of the Equality Act and instead focus on the legislation once they have been passed.

Top 10 Important LGBTQ Movements In US History

Produced by:Jaimie Roussos
In honor of Pride month, this film looks at at the most important LGBTQ milestones in US History.

Discuss how the way society deals with LGBTQ+ issues has changed. 


The following films have been curated for middle and high school students.

MY HERO recommends watching I Have Four Parents.

Daniel has four parents: two moms and two dads. They're not divorced and he is not adopted. His dads are gay and his moms are lesbian. The two couples had been friends for many years and then decided to have and co-parent a child.

I Have Four Parents

Daniel Roy
This video is a magical rendition of the story of my very unique four-parent family. Everything I talk about in the video is true, and these are the answers to the questions I most commonly get asked.

After viewing the film, I Have Four Parents, have a discussion about the different structures of student families in your class and school.

MY HERO recommends watching Janet Miller, a film about a teacher at Hoover Middle School who wanted to create a safe learning environment for all students regardless of their sexuality.

Janet Miller

Producer: The Working Group

Janet Miller leads her students to stand up for their LGBT peers.

After watching the movie, students discuss the benefits of a Gay Straight Alliance and what they can do to ensure their school is accepting and supportive of all members of their community. Share your story with MY HERO.

Students watch the following film featuring lesbian and gay police officers encouraging LGBT students, and Love has No Labels, a short film addressing prejudice and bias about love. Students then consider the discussion questions.

Austin Police Department & LGPOA: It Gets Better

Producer: Steven McCormick/Shawn Northcutt

The Lesbian & Gay Peace Officers Association sends a message to LGBTQ youth that it does get better.

Love Has No Labels

Producer: Prod. The Ad Council / Dir. R/GA

The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and to work to stop it in ourselves, others and institutions.

Discussion Questions

1. Why was it important for the Austin Police Department to create the film It Gets Better? How can this film offer hope to members of your community?

2. Do you know any activists or organizations who are working to protect and advance LGBT equality? Share their story with MY HERO. 

3. How can you support heroes working to protect and advance LGBT equality? 

The following films have been curated for high school and college students. 

MY HERO recommends watching this inspiring film, The Toothmans, about a family in West Virginia with a transgender daughter. (PLEASE NOTE that this film should be reviewed before showing students - may not be appropriate for all student audiences.)

Then watch Finding Your Voice where the LGBTQ community share their thoughts.

The Toothmans

Hansen Bursic

Deb and Jim Toothman and their transgender daughter Cooper Toothman talk about their struggles with acceptance both within their family and in the community.

TRANSPARENCY: Becoming Oliver

Tessa Grace Morell
Experimental short film made to visually accompany the original poem "Becoming Oliver" written by Oliver Marino.

Finding Your Voice

Produced by:Luz Rioja, Carlean Savea, Gabriela Portillo

A look at queer culture in San Francisco. BAYCAT VIDEO

What is your reaction to the opinions expressed in these films? 

Do you know anyone who is transgender, or a family with a transgender member? Share their story with MY HERO.

The following stories and artwork are appropriate for middle and high school students. 

Students read these stories celebrating heroes who were LGBT trailblazers in their respective fields, and consider the discussion questions. 

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs

By: Maddy from San Diego

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was the first known activist for gay rights.

Harvey Milk

By: Tammy Chen from San Diego

Milk was the first openly gay politician and worked to gain equal rights for the LGBT community.

Jazz Jennings

By: Sophie White

Jazz Jennings, a transgender woman and a television personality, is the youngest person to have become a transgender figure.

Sasha Fleischman

By: Brian
Sasha Fleischman is an agender youth in Oakland, California, who was attacked by a stranger on the bus, which sparked a movement of support for Fleischman and others in the local LGBTQ+ community.

Harvey Milk was one of the first gay public officials in San Francisco. His dream was for a better tomorrow filled with equality and a world without hate.

Harry Hay has been referred to as the father of gay liberation and believed that members of the LGBT community should be proud of who they are.

Marsha P. Johnson was an American transgender gay liberation activist and an outspoken advocate for gay rights. Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

Students analyze these portraits and consider the discussion questions. 

Harvey Milk by Marilyn Huerta from California

By: Marilyn Huerta

Harvey Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in California who advocated for gay rights.

Harry Hay (1912 - 2002)

By: Robert Shetterly

Henry "Harry" Hay, Jr. was a prominent American gay rights activist, communist, labor advocate, and Native American civil rights campaigner. 

Marsha P. Johnson

By: Elliot Rodriguez

I wanted to created a portrait of Marsha to show my appreciation for her. Being a transgender individual myself, Marsha is a person who I greatly look up to as a role model.

1. How were each of the individuals in the stories and portraits trailblazers and early LGBT activists?  

2. Do you know anyone in your community who is an LGBT activist? Share their story with MY HERO. 

3. Do you know someone who was the first of their race, gender, sexual orientation or family to accomplish something? What obstacles did they face and how did they persevere to achieve their goal? Share their story with MY HERO.

4. Consider creating a portrait of an LGBT activist to submit to MY HERO.


Students analyze the following artwork.

 What message do they each convey?

How did the artist use images, text and color?


By: Alex Hunt

Gay Activists

By: EB

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn about the origins of the LGBT movement and evaluate prejudices that existed and still exist today towards LGBT individuals. Students will determine ways to continue to make their school and community accepting and supportive of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. Students are encouraged to identify individuals in their community who are making a positive impact in the LGBT movement.

Related Pages

LGBTQ Heroes and History
Credit: MY HERO
LGBT Pride Month Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO


Laura Nietzer

The LGBT History Month lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

MY HERO Calendars for use in the Classroom

MY HERO's Teachers Calendar Features Lesson Plans and Multimedia Resources

Teachers Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Create Program
Credit: MY HERO

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

Organizer created on 9/5/2019 11:59:53 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 9/18/2023 11:04:58 AM by Laura Nietzer