With the month of June (finally) arising amidst a hectic and chaotic 2020-2021 debate season, we also get to celebrate the start of Pride Month – a tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots and a celebration of LGBTQ+ folks. Like many other structural barriers that exist outside the debate space, our community, unsurprisingly, is fraught with queerphobia. Ingrained fashion norms that harm queer competitors (especially transgender debaters), rampant misgendering, and countless microaggressions – the list goes on and on. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have personally experienced many of these issues. It is unfortunate that an activity meant to empower all voices is rife with the suppression of many.
I want to recognize the serious violence that the LGBTQ+ community experiences in Speech and Debate, and acknowledge the decades of injustice, hurt, and pain we have undergone to participate in this activity. With that, my goal in writing this article is to outline various debate-specific resources that LGBTQ+ debaters and coaches can utilize.
LGBTQ+ & Speech and Debate Research:
LGBTQ+ & Speech and Debate Related Blog Posts:
- Beyond Resolved LGBTQIA+ Initiative: https://www.beyond-resolved.org/lgbtqia
- 2020-2021 TOC PF Finals; discussion of transphobia in debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iG_0V9dGRo
- Women’s Debate Institute Anti-Bias Training: https://womensdebateinstitute.org/?page_id=3368
- WDI 2020 Trans Queer Lecture: https://womensdebateinstitute.org/?attachment_id=5647
- NSDA Pronoun Usage Best Practices Manual: https://www.speechanddebate.org/pronoun-best-practices/
- NSDA Gender Identity & Inclusion in Speech and Debate Webinar: https://www.speechanddebate.org/gender-identity-inclusion/
- NSDA Course on Engaging & Mentoring LGBTQ+ Students: https://www.speechanddebate.org/courses/engaging-and-mentoring-lgbtq-students/
About The Author: Katie Humphries is the Director of Triumph Debate. Former HS competitor and collegiate Speech and Debate competitor, Katie has reached state finals in multiple speech events on the collegiate level, and won the 2018 OFA State Tournament in IPDA. She has been a coach for over four years. Due to personal experiences of inequities in the debate community relating to classism, sexism, and queerphobia, Katie co-founded Triumph Debate with the purpose of making debate more accessible and equitable.