Project 10: Pioneering Program for LGBTQ+ Students

In 1984 Educator & Counselor Dr. Virginia Uribe noted that an openly Gay student at Fairfax High School named Chris had dropped out after fellow students continually harassed him. Further investigation showed that Chris had been kicked out of his home at age 14 after telling his parents he was Gay. Fairfax was the 4th high school he had left after sexual harassment proved too much for him. This incident served as the catalyst for Dr. Uribe to spend months researching counseling advice from experts that subsequently formed Project 10 in 1984 (the name comes from the Kinsey sex research theory that 10% of the population is Gay).

The timeline below visually illustrates Project 10’s profound impact on student rights and educational equality in California. It aligns related events including human rights milestones, religious and political leader statements, and societal values expressed through popular culture. Highlights from Dr. Uribe’s Oral History Project Interview, as well as other digital artifacts are included.

Project 10 also implemented the first LGBTQ+ Prom, which had important parallels with pre-civil rights interracial couples. Project 10 influenced current State laws to protect California educators, who are now required to implement the FAIR Education Act. The FAIR Education Act requires California Public Schools to teach the contributions of LGBTQ+, as well as disabled and Asian people.

The Project 10 Timeline can be incorporated into an 8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum focusing on Growth and Conflict in Modern US History. It can also be part of an 11th Grade Continuity and Change in Modern US History Curriculum.

History teaches us that human rights are fragile, and that progress is often followed by a societal backlash. Although enormous strides have been made, the epidemic of bullied and disenfranchised LGBTQ+ youth continues. An outcome of this project includes students, educators, and parents having a greater awareness of Dr. Uribe’s impact on LGBTQ+ Youth.