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‘I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore': a British gay educator's reconstructed life‐history account of school

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In this paper, I reflect on how the culture of schooling that I experienced throughout the 1970s and early 1980s scaffolded a formative awareness of sexual difference. Quinlivan and Town have pointed out that ‘School communities seldom have to move beyond the personal deficit model in attempting to meet the needs of Lesbian and Gay youth' (Quinlivan & Town, 1999, p.251). In reconstructing the memories of those days, months and years, I offer a personal account of how schooling reinforces heterosexual identification, through gender display, and situates students in activities where deviation from what is considered and accepted as ‘normal' is pathologised. I hope to convincingly tell what it felt like to be positioned within institutional discourses that naturalised and rehearsed a collective knowledge about sexuality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cleethorpes, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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