Ensuring that schools are as inclusive and welcoming as possible for LGBTQ students is personal for longtime LGBTQ advocate Garry Bevel.

“My inspiration came from my own experience as a gay man,” Bevel told HRC. “When I first started my professional career and I represented kids in foster care, I noticed there were many more young people of color who were gender non-conforming or queer-identified that were getting treated in a way that wasn’t affirming of who they were.”

Bevel, who is a children’s ombudsperson at the Children’s Home Society of Florida, is one of HRC Foundation’s – All Children All Families’ master trainers in LGBTQ competency and has been on the ACAF Advisory Council for several years. He works with the HRC Foundation to create safe spaces for LGBTQ students and implement LGBTQ competent policies with educators, social workers and welfare agencies.

As children and educators head back to school, Bevel knows that a supportive environment is important to the well-being of LGBTQ young people. A new CDC report found that there are health benefits that reach far into adulthood when an LGBTQ student has support both at home and school.  […]