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Supporting LGBTQIA+ Youth at School

Course Summary

Would you like to help LGBTQIA+ students and don't know how?

There is concerning evidence that LGBTQIA+ students at educational institutions often suffer bullying because of their gender identity and/or sexuality. Besides, research indicates that educators regularly fail to take action in the face of anti-LGBT bias and are often not equipped to address these issues. This may lead to several negative consequences for them, from bad academic performance to mental health issues. The good news is that there are things that teachers and schools can do to help LGBTQIA+ kids face these issues and be true allies.


In this course, you will explore practical ways in which you can create a welcoming and safe environment for LGBTQIA+ young people in your classes. You will learn about using welcoming symbols, developing positive relationships with them, and promoting healthy relationships with other members of the school community by using inclusive language, like the use of their chosen pronouns. You will also discuss how to challenge homophobia and transphobia in the classroom or the playground. You will be encouraged to liaise with rainbow families who already belong to the school community as well as with LGBTQIA+ support groups and associations to both include them in the school community and build a climate of support around the LGBTQIA+ students.


By the end of the course, you will be able to create a safer environment for your LGBTQIA+ students by implementing concrete strategies that build respect, trust and care for all equally. Hence, you will become a visible ally for the LGBTQIA+ community at your school and will model this positive role for other teachers, students and staff alike.

Book your course

7th-11th October 2024

Faro (Portugal)
1st-5th July 2024 (Español)
8th-12th July 2024

5 days Price:  400 Euros
(25 hours)
6 days Price: 480 Euros
(30 hours)

*Late fee: 60 extra euros will be charged if paid less than 8 weeks before the course.

Register your interest

Learning Outcomes

  • Create a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ students.

  • Apply strategies to become a true LGBTQIA+ ally at your school

  • Identify the difference among the concepts sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity

  • Prevent and mediate in bullying situations where LGBTQIA+ students are involved

  • Identify opportunities for connecting with the wider LGBTQIA+ community for a deeper impact.


Day 1. Key LGBTQIA terminology and concepts

Understanding what it means to be a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is essential for you to support your queer students. During this session, you will learn about the meaning of all the letters of the acronym LGBTQIA+, we will discuss the essential differences between the concepts of sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity.

Day 2. Being queer in heteronormative schools

What is it like today to be a queer kid at school? You will explore the challenges queer kids face and the negative consequences these can bring into their lives. We will explore the situation of LGBTQIA+ students in some EU countries.

Day 3. Understanding transgender youth

Transgender youth commonly suffer even more challenges than other young people in the LGBTQIA+ community, and more concretely if they decide to transition while they are at school. You will learn about what it means to be transgender, an umbrella term that covers several different gender identifications. We will also analyse typical misconceptions and prejudices against transgender people as well as ways to help them affirm their gender at school.

Day 4. Becoming an ally for queer students

As a teacher, there are many things you can do to support your queer students and be a true ally for them. Let’s talk about the inclusive language you can use, how to articulate positive relationships with queer students that make them feel safe and be aware of professionals and support groups to refer them to when necessary. You will reflect on what protocol to follow when you observe homophobic or transphobic behaviour from other students, staff members or parents/caretakers against queer students.

Day 5. Schoolwide action and connection with the wider LGBTQIA+ Community

Promoting schoolwide policies and collaboration networks can be one of the most efficient ways to support queer students at your school. You will learn about examples on how to foster staff collaboration and policies that can be implemented to establish clear guidelines on how to support LGBTQIA+ students at your school. Finally, we will talk about the benefits of liaising with local LGBTQIA+ associations and rainbow families to facilitate a solid and long-term support network for queer students.


Day 6: Cultural experience (Optional added day)

-Day trip to discover tourist sites 
-Exchange of personal and cultural experiences


Your Trainers


Dr. Carolina Castro

Carolina is an experienced educator with over 20 years of teaching career in primary, secondary, and tertiary education in Europe, the United States, and Australia. She is also an active member of the LGBTQIA+ community as a genderqueer pansexual individual.

Over the past 6 years, she has trained teachers in Europe, Asia, and Australia, collaborating with educational foundations and entire schools worldwide.


Carolina holds a Bachelor's degree in English Philology, a Master's in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language, and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Education. Some of her areas of expertise include the LGBTQIA+ youth collective in schools, Project-Based Learning, Project-Based Language Learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Digital Tools for Education, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), Life Skills, Pedagogy, and E-Pedagogy, among others.

She has presented at various academic conferences, including the 2023 Education Congress by Fundación Triángulo (, professional events for teachers, and doctoral seminars worldwide, both online and in person.

Carolina's training methodology is based on the use of emotions, the creation of learning objects, and reflection. To learn more, take a look here.


Alana Speck

Alana is a trainer in nonviolent conflict transformation with experience in training social movement groups in Germany, Britain, Spain, Macedonia, Georgia, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Colombia and other countries. They identify as genderqueer, a non-binary identity, and asexual and aromantic. They have achieved a precedent-setting legal victory in Andalusia, Spain for the legal recognition of non-binary identities and are an activist, especially within the non-binary community.


Alana’s training approach is based on nonviolence training, facilitation of groups, popular education, the theatre of the oppressed and other non-formal education approaches coming out of social movements from all over the world. Andrea has contributed chapters to War Resisters’ International’s Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns (available in several languages), edited War Resisters’ International’s A Conscientious Objector’s Guide to the International Human Rights System and has written a Spanish language manual on organizing within social movements.


In recent years, Alana has focused mostly on training around trans and gender issues, mostly in non-formal settings. Alana is part of Sexualiarte, a non-binary people-led association with a focus on the sexual and mental health of dissident sexual and gender identities, and working on creating mutual support structures, especially for non-binary people.

Essential Info

Duration: 25 hours for the face-to-face option and if you book 6 days the total would be 30 hours.

Certificate: A completion certificate will be provided when participants attend a minimum of 80% of the course.

Language: The course will be facilitated in English. Participants need to have a minimum of a B1 to attend.

Activities: Cultural activities will be included for participants in each course.

Schedule: Sessions can take place in the morning (9h to 14h) or the afternoon (15h to 20h). The day-by-day timetable posted here is tentative, your trainer will send it to you one week before the course begins and she may change it depending on the group needs accordingly.

Extra day add-On: All courses can have an optional extra 6th day that will be dedicated to cultural exchanges in an organised day trip excursion.

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