Responding to the next generation


Below is an actual email I received this week via Twitter.

“Hi My name is Tracy. I am in 6th grade … in … Iowa. My class is participating in National History Day and my topic is The Stonewall Riots. This year’s theme is Breaking Barriers. I was searching the internet for Stonewall experts and I came across a website that had a link to your email.  I was wondering if we could set up a time to talk so I can get more information about the impact Stonewall had on the gay rights movement. Let me know if you would be interested in helping.”

This might seem surprising, but these requests have been coming each week for some time now. Now, I’m not sure if the reason for it is that California and New Jersey have passed legislation that suggests LGBT History be taught in schools, or if it’s just becoming a topic of interest to the average student due to the fact that the LGBT community has been in the news quite a lot over the course of the last year. There’s Stonewall 50, HRC’s count of those trans folks who suffered violent deaths, Mayor Pete and even “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Pose” and the numerous LGBT characters on primetime television.

The most important part of this particular email is that it’s from a sixth-grader.  Would you have had the gumption — love that word — to ask such a question when you were in the sixth grade? 

I think I’ll answer the questions Tracy has for me. 

Names of those under 18 and location details were changed or withheld for privacy considerations.