First off, I would like to speak about Rodriguez's message of public and private individualities. Rodriguez stated in Aria that in order to create a public identity that society will approve of, you need to lose your private identity. For Rodriguez, his private identity was his Spanish culture that he embraced at home with his family. His school stated he would not get ahead in their classroom if he only spoke Spanish, so he began becoming an English only speaker. Therefore, he concluded that in order to become a prominent English speaker and develop an individual identity, he needed to stop speaking Spanish as a whole. So, speaking about the topic of LGBT, I feel that this idea of creating a public identity they are proud of is very important to them. Privately, they are confident in what they like, and who they are. But publically, it is not always for them to express exactly who they are; especially in the classroom setting. People, meaning students, teachers, or anyone else, are judgmental. They may only see things "one-way". They may not have the same beliefs or values other people have. So more often times then not, it is hard for students to be open about who they are and what they love. However, Safe Spaces gave plenty of scenarios in classrooms where teachers connected the idea of being LGBT as a normal, great thing to be or to be connected to. The book proved that a public identity can be made if the topic of LGBT is integrated into the everyday lives of a teacher's students. I wish Rodriguez could have seen things this way when he wrote Aria, realizing he could still hold his Spanish heritage close and make it a part of his public individuality.
To speak about in class:
So, I hope my connections to Rodriguez and Collier are much clearer to all of you now; being that their overall message is to develop a public identity and integrate the ideas of individuality into the classroom experience.
Below is a video I found on Youtube of kids reacting to gay marriage proposals. They all have different reactions, and it is great to watch and hear about. They have more knowledge and ideologies than the average adult. (but that is just my personal opinion :)) After they watch these proposals, they are asked many relevant questions about the topic of LGBT. What they have to say is great. They are accepting, they fight for being LGBT and their rights, and they enjoy hearing about what it means to be LGBT. For some of the children, it is their first time seeing this type of love. For others, it is not, and they are completely supportive. It is a great video and completely inspiring!