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Queering Our Classrooms

The 4th Queering Our Classrooms event is an effort to build awareness among K-12 educators and university students and faculty of the needs and experiences of LGBTQ+ students and colleagues, and in particular of educational policies and practices that may negatively affect LGBTQ+ students and educators as well as those that offer protection and support and lead to better experiences in K-20 education. 

QOC Events

Expanding capacity to support LGBTQ+ students and educators in El Paso EC-20 education



RSVP Link  

 Event Agenda

5:00 PM Opening 
(YouTube Live streaming will start at 

5:05 PM Fireside Chat with   
Dr. Alberto Esquinca and Dr. Carol Brochin 
Members of Montwood High School Gay Straight Alliance      

5:40 PM Open Forum with
Principal Barba, Jose H. Damian Elementary School, Canutillo ISD
Members of EPCC Queer Straight Alliance and Guillen Middle School Born This Way club 

6:15 PM Small Group Discussion with
Principal Barba, Jose H. Damian Elementary School, Canutillo ISD
Mr. Armando Loera, Library Administrator, El Paso ISD
Students from the Introduction to Women’s Studies taught by Dr. Naomi Fertman
Members of Borderland Rainbow Center and PFLAG El Paso
(YouTube Live streaming will stop) 

6:55 PM Ending  

 Guest Speakers 

Carol Brochin, Ph.D.



Carol Brochin is a queer Chicana/Tejana feminist and mother of two teenagers. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, she was an Assistant Professor of English Education at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her professional and scholarly work is rooted in her experiences as a public-school teacher and literacy educator in her hometown of Laredo, Texas on the U.S.-Mexico border. This work is interdisciplinary, crossing and challenging disciplinary and theoretical borders while situated across qualitative inquiry, literacy research methods, and Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Carol’s work pushes the boundaries of what it means to do equity work, both in literacy and bilingual education. She is deeply committed to making an impact on the K-12 education of immigrant, transnational, bilingual, and LGBTQ+ youth and their families through teacher education in the borderlands.  

In 2019, her youngest child Santi Maria, was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that overturned the “No Promo Homo” law in Arizona, a decades-old policy forbidding Arizona schools from discussing LGBTQ people in sexual education courses.

Some of Dr. Brochin’s scholarship includes:  

If you are interested in knowing more about Dr. Brochin’s research, please join us on Tuesday, Oct 12, at 4:30 pm MT for the coloquio "Salas de Libros LGBTQ+" via Zoom (Click Here). In this coloquio, Dr. Brochin will discuss research findings from Cruzando Fronteras con Libros/Crossing Borders through Books, a collaborative, transnational project between teachers and educators in the US and Mexico. More specifically, she will highlight the Salas de Lectura program in Mexico and the formation of Salas de Libros LGBTQ+. She will also share bilingual resources including children’s and young adult literature that help foster classrooms to move beyond just being inclusive of LGBTQ+ Latinx, trans, and immigrant communities through stories. 

Alberto Esquinca, Ph.D.  



Alberto Esquinca is an associate professor in the Department of Dual Language & English Learner Education (DLE) at San Diego State University (SDSU). He is a transfronterizo scholar who researches bilingualism and biliteracy practices among Latinx people, particularly in borderland contexts. He is the co-author of Educating Across Borders: The Case of a Dual Language Classroom with Mayte de la Piedra and Blanca Araujo, as well as the co-editor of the forthcoming Literacies of Design: Studies of Equity and Imagination in Engineering and Making. At DLE he is currently overseeing the creation of the Global and Transborder Center For Teacher Preparation Programs, which is a collaborative hub that will connect teacher preparation programs on both sides of the US-Mexico Border.

As a UTEP undergraduate, he was transformed by the daily back-and-forth of transfronterizo life as well as by activist experiences in the queer and the Chicanx student communities. In 2006, he returned to UTEP as an assistant professor. In 2020 he was selected to be the inaugural Caylef & Sakai Pride Faculty Scholar at SDSU.

For this coloquio, he will present a talk titled “Perspectivas Interseccionales: Docentes LGBTQ+ in Bilingual and Dual Language Education.” He will share emerging findings from a new research project focused on the experiences of LGBTQ+ educators into and in the field of bilingual/DL education. He will use qualitative interviews data to show how LGBTQ+ teachers draw on their experiences of linguicism, trans- and homophobic bias and racialization to construct unique perspectives as bilingual/DL teachers.

Some of Dr. Esquinca’s work and scholarship includes:  

We welcome you to get in touch with us at

Intersectionality, Identities, and Learning for Our Lives

This year, the 3rd annual Queering our Classrooms conference explores the theme of “Intersectionality, identities, and learning for our lives.” The conference continues our goal established in 2018 of building awareness among university students, K-12 teachers, and university faculty of the needs and experiences of LGBTQ+ students and colleagues. This year, in light of the national social unrest provoked by police violence against Black and Brown lives, our theme highlights how the multiple identities of LGBTQ+ persons intersect in ways that impact their learning and their lives. We have planned an interactive, multimedia, virtual experience that brings in renown out-of-town guest speakers as well as provides visibility to LGBTQ+ identities, experiences, and lives of those in our border community. This conference is an important forum for changing the narrative of historical marginalization of this population in our community and educational spaces.



Event Recording

Queer as a second language: A reading of the play written by Cynthia Nelson, Ph.D. followed by talkback and discussion

As implied by the title, the event’s theme was discussing LGBTQ topics in classroom settings. The event began with a reading of the play “Queer as a Second Language” by Cynthia Nelson, a doctorate degree-holder in applied linguistics, followed by a discussion panel. Nelson based the play on her research on English as a second language (ESL) classes and 150 hours of one-on-one interviews. It is also based on real-life situations. The play depicted interactions between three foreign students learning English: 30-year-old Mi-Young from Korea, 25-year-old Pablo from Mexico, 62-year-old Mr. V from Vietnam, and their two American professors, Roxanne and Tony. The event’s main goal was to educate the community on LGBTQ issues and to show solidarity between allies and the LGBTQ community on campus.



Event Recording


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Educating the campus community about policies & practices to support LGBTQIA students, staff and faculty

The forum is an effort to build awareness among university students, K-12 teachers, and university faculty of the needs and experiences of LGBTQ students and colleagues, and in particular of educational policies and practices that may negatively affect LGBTQ students and educators as well as those that offer protections and support and lead to better experiences in education (at both K-12 and university levels). The target audience is UTEP students—especially those preparing to be and currently working as K-12 teachers—and faculty. The October 2018 forum—the first in what will hopefully be a series of events—will comprise a panel discussion with experts on educational policy and practice and how policies and teaching practices affect LGBTQ students and educators. Attendees will learn about ways that they—as students and/or educators—can better ensure that LGBTQ students thrive in education.



Event Recording


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3rd Annual Queering Our Classrooms: Intersectionality, Identities, and Learning for Our Lives

2nd Annual Queering Our Classrooms: Queer as a Second Language

1st Annual Queering Our Classrooms: Educating the Campus Community About Policies & Practices to Support LGBTQIA Students, Staff and Faculty.

Carlos Y Alejandro - Let's Know Ourselves Better

In this episode: Alejandro & Carlos: Let's know ourselves better (In Spanish), you will join us to learn more about two Ph.D. students---Alejandro and Carlos.

Alejandro: A Ph.D. student, research assistant, and has a research business with his brothers.

Carlos: A Ph.D. student, a "transfronterizo" who crosses the border twice a day, and a teacher at a high school.


In this episode: Robert (In English), you will learn more about a science teacher--- Robert.

Robert: A science teacher and a young smart educator. This is narrating his story of education and being gay.


In this episode: Sam (In English), you will learn more about a music elementary teacher---Sam.

Sam: A music elementary teacher shared her experiences as a young and talented educator and the intersection of being part of the LGBTQ+ community.