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Supporting Queer Students: A Guide to Normalizing Queer Policy in Schools

Dr. Stacy Pinto wants students to feel comfortable when they walk into her office on campus at the University of Denver. She believes it’s her job to create a space where people feel invited to sit and have open and honest conversations with her.

“That’s what normalizing and integrating and allowing people to be themselves looks like,” said Pinto, a faculty member for the online master’s in school counseling program at the University of Denver. “Having a space to be safe, having it be welcoming, and conveying that you are all of these things and ready to help them.” 

But creating safe spaces for queer students in particular requires work. Educational institutions need to develop policies that address queer identity to ensure that these students feel comfortable on school grounds and have the same opportunities to thrive as their peers. And school counselors have a unique role to play as advocates who can bring stakeholders together.

With the guidance of Dr. Pinto, who specializes in queer issues and sexual identity labeling, SchoolCounseling@Denver developed this guide for schools on how to normalize queer policy.