Tentative – Rainbow Room: A Discussion Group for LGBTQ+ Students & Their Allies


    “LGBTQ+ teens like myself lead an inherently difficult life, unsure of where hostility and hatred will reside in our lives. Having a community where we know there will not be any hostility is a welcome reprieve.

    This class is a welcome place to talk freely about ourselves and our struggles without running the risk of rejection.

    Learning more about our history is important to LGBTQ+ teens, and seeing the paths of the influential people like us that went before us is an inspiration to be that person for someone else.” ~Student, Violet


    Coming Soon

    If you are interested in this course for your student, contact Prof. Suki at .

    Rainbow Room
    InstructorProf. Suki Wessling
    Content LevelsGrades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
    Course Length16 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnIf you are interested in this course for your student, contact Prof. Suki at .

    Rainbow Room is a flexible course with a “club” atmosphere. It is a dynamic, supportive environment for LGBTQ+ kids and their allies.

    We will read books and articles, watch movies and documentaries, read and watch the news, and discuss our daily lives. We’ll delve into the lives and achievements of queer folk throughout history and in our modern world.

    This course offers a positive space for students who may feel marginalized in their daily lives or confused about their role in our current culture. The course is inquiry-based and has no set curriculum.

    IMPORTANT note to parents:

    This course is not age-restricted. However, parents should be very sure of their student’s maturity level and intellectual level before enrolling:

    • The course may not offer trigger warnings because we will be accessing materials dynamically.
    • The course will explore works written for children and adults.
    • The course may include unrated films.
    • The course may include frank discussions of sexuality as initiated by students or professionals visiting the classroom.
    • As such, the course may not be appropriate for younger students and students who suffer from anxiety.

    A note about scholarships:

    • A limited number of scholarships will be available for students current suffering economic distress in their households. Please contact the instructor for information.

    What to expect in the group:

    • Unlike most courses at Athena’s, the content of this group will be generated by the students and instructor as the group develops. Students should expect that their input is vital to the success of the course!

    What to expect in the classroom each week:

    • Our asynchronous classroom will allow students to discuss issues, share aspects of their lives, share resources, and get support throughout the week. Students will be expected to be active participants in the forums. Students will have varying amounts of assigned reading and viewing outside of our webinars.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available when students miss a meeting. Please note that when we are watching films and documentaries, the webinar may last up to two hours.
    • Webinars will start with dedicated time for sharing and support. We will also have time to discuss assigned reading and viewing.
    • During our webinars, we will sometimes read and watch materials in real time. Students will be expected to make focused comments in chat and via the microphone about the topics we are discussing.
    • Students will be expected to be supportive and kind at all times, even when we are addressing tough issues.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read a typical newspaper article or YA (Young Adult) novel.
    • Stay on topic during a live discussion.
    • Please see our “IMPORTANT Note for Parents” in the DESCRIPTION tab before enrolling a student in this course.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Read and watch materials outside of our webinar.
    • Actively discuss topics in forums and chat.

    Required books & materials:

    • Articles and videos will be chosen by the participants and the instructor in real time.
    • Most materials will be available free online or from public libraries, but some may require a purchase.
    • Viewing of films that require payment to streaming services will be done live during the webinar.