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ERIC Number: EJ929682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1468-1366
"Undoing" the Self: Should Heterosexual Teachers "Come Out" in the University Classroom?
Allen, Louisa
Pedagogy, Culture and Society, v19 n1 p79-95 2011
The issue of whether to "come out" in class has a poignant history in the literature by gay, lesbian and bisexual educators on this topic. By comparison few heterosexuals have publicly written about whether they explicitly reveal their heterosexuality to students. This paper contributes to the enduring debate about whether to "come out" in class from the perspective of "a heterosexual". It explores the questions: Should heterosexuals come out in class? Can this serve as a pedagogically effective strategy for those striving to achieve anti-heteronormative classrooms? The arguments for and against coming out by lesbian, gay and bisexual writers are canvassed to discern which are relevant for heterosexuals. I argue that the question of whether to come out is as pedagogically relevant to heterosexuals as those who are gay, lesbian and bisexual. Failing to identify explicitly as heterosexual can serve to reinforce the homosexual-heterosexual binary, where silence about heterosexual identity maintains its "normal" and "natural" status. I also contend that "coming out" as heterosexual necessitates a strategy that undermines the dominance of this identity (which an assertion of this identity can reinforce). To come out by "undoing" the heterosexual self is offered as one approach to this dilemma. This "undoing" strives to denaturalise and decentre heterosexual identity and the heteronormative practices which sustain its privileged position. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A