GC Alum Kaylee Wilson: LGBTQ+ Representation in the Classroom

Kaylee Wilson is a freshman at Western Kentucky University, and she is majoring in English for secondary education. Kaylee plans on being a high school English teacher. She states, “As long as I can remember, I have loved the subject of English. I have always been intrigued by literature and linguistics and all things English.” Given her love for English and helping others, being an educator is a fulfilling career that she will ensue. Kaylee also participates in many activities within the school such as the Big Red Marching Band and the Queer Student Union. Other than these other dedications, one of Kaylee’s many passions is inclusivity in education. She offers a unique perspective to the classroom given her sexuality as a lesbian and a distinctive experience with how she identifies with her gender.

Creating a safe space in the classroom is one of Kaylee’s main goals as an educator. “My goal for teaching is to give my students a space to feel comfortable in and to let them know that they are never alone.”, she says and elaborates, “A space where they can cry, laugh, sing, love, and explore their passions. School should never be strictly about learning content, in my mind, the most important thing is that students know that someone is always in their corner. When students know that, learning has a foundation to grow from.” As a teacher, part of making all students comfortable is sharing and incorporating who you are as a person. Building rapport is the base of all learning, and it is needed for learning to take place. Kaylee will incorporate this significant part of her life by having physical objects like pride flags and posters representing her identity while also including this in the content she teaches. “Specifically in my lesson planning, I would love to read queer literature or even study some queer writers or poets in my class. Even small incorporations like that can give your students an insight into queer culture.” Kaylee tells. Kaylee’s philosophy of teaching stems from her experience as a queer person.


Due to limitations in the strict curriculum, it is challenging for teachers of any kind of diverse identity to incorporate this into their student’s learning experience. The education system is often restrictive to any kind of differences that teachers may embody, and it is often not allowed in some districts. Kaylee wants to break this barrier in the system.I hope that one day I will have the ability to have a pride flag up in my classroom somewhere, even if it is a small one on my desk,” Kaylee says. Not only does she want to break this barrier for LGBTQ+ students and teachers, but she wants this to be the case for all cultures. All diversity will be celebrated in Kaylee’s classroom. “ I want to break my students out of a short-sighted cultural lens and introduce them to cultures which are different from theirs.” she expanded. 

Kaylee Wilson will be an inclusive teacher with a focus on creating a safe environment for all students by incorporating her sexuality in the content, the physical environment of her classroom, and the figurative environment that she creates with inclusivity as the main focus.In general, I want to be outwardly queer. This way, my students know that it is okay to express themselves, and that queer isn’t a bad word.” she concludes. Kaylee Wilson is going to contribute to the group of queer educators striving for inclusivity in the education system.