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ERIC Number: EJ1025284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0362-6784
Leave "Those Kids" Alone: On the Conflation of School Homophobia and Suffering Queers
Airton, Lee
Curriculum Inquiry, v43 n5 p532-562 Dec 2013
In this article I make a conceptual intervention in the idea that queer children and youth have needs that differ from those of other children and youth on the basis of their gender or sexuality alone, and that doing well by them requires adults to act on the basis of this difference. Namely, I examine the conflation of "fighting school homophobia" and "helping young queers." I argue that making space for "queerness" in education is not the same as making space for queers, and that queer young people ought to be left alone. I offer two explanations for the conflation's persistence such that "leaving them alone" is generally unthinkable: one affective and one institutional. In the first instance, I read a short memoir through a recent queer theoretical account of childhood as queerness, and argue that the "queer child" is the vehicle of queer adult longing for origins. In the second instance, I show how in education the nebulous (queerness) tends to become concrete (homophobia) and therefore actionable (fight homophobia) because of the constraints of schooling as the singularity of education in the present. In the conclusion, I suggest that a twist on the liberal concept of individual rights may ironically provide a pragmatic means of moving beyond the flourishing of individual queers and toward the flourishing of queerness in schools, and offer some preliminary suggestions of what can be done if queerness was to become the beneficiary of anti-homophobia interventions in education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A