The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

English: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Catherine Fox

Second Advisor

Michael Dando

Third Advisor

Matthew Barton

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

lgbt, transgender, inclusive, education, BIPOC, marginalized


Over the last 10 years, there has been a huge shift in LGBTQ culture within the classroom. According to the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, LGBTQ students are three times as likely to say they’ve seriously considered attempting suicide,” (Minnesota Department of Health). The influx of safety and mental health issues with LGBTQ youth have spiked in the last 5 years. There has been small steps to provide a more inclusive environment: provide Safe Space and/or diversity trainings to staff and faculty, administrators speaking with students about LGBTQ issues and even introducing LGBTQ history in school districts. While this is a great step for schools to take, the work is not done yet within the classrooms. There are a number of students who identify within the community and would like to see more representation of themselves in the novels they read within their English classes.

Having society understand the terminology within the LGBTQIA+ community is crucial for adults understanding the current issues that students are facing inside and outside the classroom. The terminology surrounding gender and sexual identity would be an eye-opening experience for those students who need to feel true to themselves with their true identities. This is in addition to testimonial confessions from students and staff, who may not feel supported within their schools and/or school districts.


First, I would like to thank God for all that he has done for me. Without him, there’s nothing that I could achieve in this world.

Second, I would like to thank my mother Ursel Shack-Toussaint (1956-2021) for supporting my dreams and goals in life. She was the rock that held the family together through thick and thin. Although she annoyed me at times, I know that came from a sense of “tough love” to help me survive out in the world. Although you cannot see me receive my degree, you’ll see it from up above and always proud of your baby forever! Additionally, I would like to thank my brother, aunts’, cousins, friends and other folks in the community that have supported me in my long journey of graduate school.

I would also like to thank my thesis committee on all the support throughout the process in writing this paper for my degree. I know it may not seem like a lot, but I feel like it’s very important for everyone to know about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Also, thank you so much for working with me through all the highs and lows of my life while trying to finish this paper. Although it’s taken me 10,000 years, I finally have a finished paper!