BrELT's Queer Day - Sunday, August 28, 2016: Embracing the differences in ELT.

By @SergioViula2
With information from the group
and other sources.

Visit the group and learn more about it: 

We are proud to announce that one of our many attempts to change the world, our very first BrELT Queer Day is this Sunday, starting at 1:30 pm, Brasília time (UTC-3 hours). We are going to be using Google Hangouts and the links will be made available minutes before we start in the BrELT Community ( 

You can also participate via our youtube channel . If you log in, you'll be able to chat and send questions. Come and join us and invite your friends!

Check our program below:

13:30: Opening

13:40: Thomas Mersen - "A dialogue on LGBT Issues in ELT: General Considerations and Practical Implications"

14:40: Five-minute break.

14:45: Sérgio Viula - "My Teacher is an LGBT activist"

15:15: Luciana Lins Rocha - "Queerizando a Sala de Aula de Línguas na Escola Pública em Tempos de Conservadorismo"

15:40: Round table with Sérgio Viula and Luciana Lins Rocha.

15:55: Fifteen minute-break.

16:10: Isadora Bernandes and Elton Medeiros – “Giving voice to the voiceless LGBT students"

16:55: Closing.

About the speakers:

Thorsten Merse began working as a research assistant at the Chair of TEFL, University of Münster, where he was involved in conceptualizing the practical teacher training unit (Praxissemester). In February 2016, he changed to the Chair of TEFL (Prof. Dr. Christiane Lütge) at the University of Munich (LMU). In his PhD project titled “Other Others, Different Differences: Queer Perspectives on English Language Teaching”, he is researching current renegotiations of cultural and literary learning from the perspective of Queer Theory and the resulting implications for the teaching practice in EFL classrooms. Thorsten Merse is an active member of the IATEFL and the DGFF. On a regular basis, he gives talks and workshops at various national and international universities and conferences, including, for example, the seminar series “Queering ESOL: Towards a Cultural Politics of LGBT Issues in the ESOL Classroom”.

Youtube link for Thorsten Merse's presentation:

Sergio Viula is a teacher from Rio de Janeiro and has taught teens, youngsters and adults. Currently, he is doing a master’s on linguistics at UERJ. Despite the loads of work, Sergio has spoken on LGBT issues in environments that range from the media to public events. After working with "conversion therapy" with a an "ex-gay" group in Brazil, he blew whistle on it nationwide. In 2004 Época magazine issued an interview in print, which can also be found online (in Portuguese) here:,,EDR67648-6014,00.html. Not only that, but six years later, Exodus Interantional and Love in Action – two "ex-gay" icons of the "conversion therapy" movement – made headlines after their leaders finally admitted that homosexuality is not an illness and there is no such thing sexual orientation conversion in fact. In 2011 the Advocate, one of the most famous LGBT publications in the world recuperated Viula's story when they reported on the shutting of Exodus Internacional. The article was entitled "Ex-gay movement: Weaker by the minute" and it can still be read here: has collected some very curious stories both in and out of the classroom regarding LGBT issues. Some of them will be shared next Sunday.

 Youtube link for Sergio Viula's presentation (Luciana Lins Rocha's speech follows Sergio's):

PORTUGUESE: Luciana Lins Rocha é atualmente professora de inglês no Colégio Pedro II. Cursou graduação em Letras na UFRJ, onde também concluiu os cursos de Mestrado (2003) e Doutorado (2013), ambos no Programa Interdisciplinar de Linguística Aplicada. Em conjunto com as professoras Raquel Simas e Tatiana Prado Vargas (departamento de Sociologia), coordena o Grupo de Estudos da Diversidade de Gênero no campus São Cristóvão III do Colégio Pedro II desde 2015. Participa também do Laboratório de Estudos em Diversidade e Educação da mesma instituição. Seus interesses de pesquisa estão nas áreas de estudos queer e de gênero, ensino de línguas e currículo.

Luciana Lins Rocha's speech follows Sergio's (see video above) or access it here:

Isadora Bernardes has been an EFL teacher at Casa Thomas Jefferson and an LGBT activist for 6 years. She holds a degree in English Teaching from University of Brasília.

Elton Medeiros has been en EFL teacher for 6 years 4 of which at Casa Thomas Jefferson. He holds a degree in International Relations from University of Brasília.

Isadora Bernardes and Elton Medeiros' speech is on YouTube:

The Guardian:

Being gay at school remains difficult for teachers

While many teachers wish to come out at school so they can be role models for pupils, there are still many issues around homophobic language and even lack of support from colleagues, Stonewall research reveals.

Read more here and find out why discussions like BrELT's Queer Day are relevant: 

Watch this video about a priceless initiative, please.
Visit the site:

What's Rachel's Challenge about? Find it out here:

Do you need resources like lesson plans and other tools to work out inclusion?

GLSEN offers some good tips for educators here:
Don't miss it.

Also check this out: