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Queer contingencies: bifurcation and the sexuality of schooling
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Daniel MarshallDaniel Marshall
This article critiques the contemporary focus on same-sex attracted youth, “antihomophobia,” and “safe schools,” as well as the ways these foci structure the logics of the prevailing policy approach. The author examines how contemporary antihomophobic reform in education is sustained by a series of false dilemmas: that the political demands and investments of straights and nonstraights can be easily distinguished one from another; that the expression of homophobia is anathema to queer educative work; and that everything that is at stake in the messy confluence of sexuality, gender, and schooling can be made sense of by figuring the problem as a matter of being safe. Gesturing toward a queer social policy for schooling, this article critiques the “zero-tolerance” approach of antihomophobia education, arguing that it falsely bifurcates the social world of the school into homophobic/antihomophobic iterations, unsafe/safe versions, and straight/homosexual interest.