Queerness In Gender

1551 Words 7 Pages
Deconstructing the gender binary and gender roles and expectations, serves as an initial pedagogical tool in the discussion of trans identities in the classroom. Since trans identities are as much a part of the field of gender and sexuality studies as conventional cisnormative and heteronormative identities, they cannot be studied in isolation, but must rather be viewed in terms of intersectionality. Mary Armstrong, in her essay, “Towards a Queer Pedagogy of Conflicted Practice,” identifies a tension between “identity politics based ‘lesbian and gay studies’ and a ‘queer’ poststructuralist revision of subjectivity that works to overturn the hegemonic absolutism embedded in all fixed identity models” (86). According to Armstrong, a post-structural …show more content…
The definition of queerness has become blurred,as new identities and definitions have been added, including various additions to trans identities. The reconfigurations of the meanings of gender and sexuality have created more complex, multi-layered trans identities. The word “queer” itself has been reclaimed, and is no longer a derogatory slur but now seen as a source of power and identity for the LGBTQ community. Despite the blurring of this definition, as Thompson and Santiago-Jirau remind us in, “Performing Truth: Queer Youth and the Transformative Power of Theatre of the Oppressed,” teachers and other adults must not be dismissive of queer youth and their identifications by viewing them as confused or going through a phase (98). This, the authors, re-emphasis, can lead to isolation, hinder sexual and emotional development during puberty, and affect their gradual, flexible self-exploration …show more content…
A study by Robinson and Espelage found that LGBTQ youth are at a greater risk of “suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, victimization by peers, and elevated levels of unexcused absences from school” (315). The authors also reference a study on young transgender students in particular which concluded that harassment directed at transgendered individuals is widespread and creates an unsafe environment for these students in school (315). This victimization can take the form of school and cyber bullying, homophobic teasing, slurs and so on. The study also noted that “among sexual minority youth, transgendered youth appear to be at the greatest risk for school failure and are often victimized because of their gender expression”

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