The Charger Account

The Lack of History in Our History Classes

Photo credit: Theo Soderman

Photo credit: Theo Soderman

By Penny Scott, Staff Writer

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We learn so much in our history classes, yet we learn so little about certain aspects of the human race and diverse communities. For LGBTQ+ minorities that is especially the case. In history class, so much of what is taught disregards a shocking amount of history regarding gender and sexuality.

According to Quartz Media, LGBTQ+ students make up about 8% of America’s high school students, with over 60% feeling “sad and hopeless.” It’s heartbreaking to learn that LGBTQ+ students don’t feel comfortable at school and because so much of their history ignored, it is even harder for them to find groups to identify with.

Many students are unaware of how crucial LGBTQ+ figures are to history—from breaking gender roles to fighting for American freedom in the Civil War. Perhaps by learning more about these historical figures, students would have a better understanding of their role in society, while having more people to relate to.

The Smithsonian reports how hundreds of women concealed their feminine identities in the civil war. Disguised as male soldiers, they would fight for their country. The Civil War is one of the most significant events in American History, so why leave out these details?

The Washington Post also notes how some women would continue living out their lives after the war with their male identities. Wouldn’t learning about historical figures who challenged gender roles help LGBTQ+ students feel more comfortable, as it gives them something to relate to?

While it is not historically accurate to label Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt as “transgender,” she still challenged traditional gender roles during her time.

In the History article on Hatshepsut, it was noted that she often referred to herself as “her majesty, the king” and would wear the traditionally masculine symbols of royalty in Ancient Egypt, such as a striped neme headdress adorned with a cobra.

While these details concerning major historical figures are forgotten, we also tend to disregard significant points in LGBTQ+ history. One of the most prominent being the transgender women of color who were behind the Stonewall riots.  

According to Mic Network Inc, these were the women who “really started” the Stonewall Riots, an event that has became a major symbol for the LGBTQ+ community.

The role these people play in history often goes unnoticed in our classes, since most of the time, students are handed a short packet with a paragraph or so going over these historical figures, while their personal identities are blatantly disregarded.

I remember so clearly sitting in my US History class on the day we supposedly covered the Civil Rights Movement. We were barely given two pages on the communities of people who had fought so hard to gain basic human rights. Why is so much going unsaid?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that twice as many students of the LGBTQ+ community are depressed when compared to the depression rate straight students. While many feel alienated by their own classmates, their history isn’t even being taught to them. This brings out a loss in identity and leaves many to question and doubt themselves.

Queer Studies has only recently been introduced into public high school systems, with the San Francisco public school district being the first in 2015 according to Newsweek.  However, there has been slightly more action taken to introduce LGBTQ+ focused lessons into history courses taught at public schools.

A Queer Studies course at Dos Pueblos would introduce a unique and informative perspective on historical events that student may not otherwise recognize. I firmly believe it would be beneficial to the student body and offer an insightful look into the aspects of history that could actually make a difference in how students view themselves and their identity.

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The Lack of History in Our History Classes