3 Things I Learned:
The first thing I noted as something learned was that ” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that thirty percent of all youth suicides are committed by gay, lesbian and bisexual youth ( p. 193). Not knowing if the statistic had changed or not since 2009, 30% was enough of an inspiration for me. That is until reading the second article where Loutzenheiser critiques herself. In the second reading, Loutzenheiser explains that the statistic is too complicated because Youth’s identities are too complicated. While it is important to know and help youth at risk, “demographic criteria, such as sexual orientation, do not automatically imply suicide risk” as cited (Rutter and Soucar, 2002, p. 297).Loutzenheiser
I never thought about how being an LGBTQ member could limit one’s sex ed experience. Even if LGBTQ content is addressed, students may still be left with questions they feel uncomfortable to ask as a result of the school or teacher’s (possibly unintentional) discrimination. In the same way, I can see how this would affect other classes as well. Taking a look at English, the literature provided to students- in my experience- rarely, if at all, contains LGBTQ characters. In younger grades, where student’s opinions are less structured, I have seen more inclusive literature; however, in older grades inclusive literature is limited. Intentional or not, this is likely out of fear of backlash from both students and parents.
The third thing I learned was of queer pedagogy. In their first article, Loutzenheiser provides readers with a list of action steps on how to change schools. In their second article, they reflect on those steps and explain how they neglected the context of the school. Rather than following these steps entirely, it would be more beneficial to view them as the skeletal structure of queer pedagogy. Loutzenheiser explains, “The desire, then, is for an ongoing set of interrogations of theories and analytical lenses through which we interpret race, sexuality, and other forms of injustices” (p. 139). She furthers this idea in her conclusion where she states, “I am suggesting that a rereading of the past through present lens offers space to question our ongoing assumptions about theory, truth, and the processes of reform and the reworking of praxis” (p. 139).
2 Connections I Made:
It has become obvious that schools are increasingly incorporating multiculturalism into their teaching practices. Open a current textbook and you will see children of from a multitude of racial backgrounds with cultural names that go far beyond Emily and John. It never occurred to me that school curriculum rarely mentions the LGBTQ community.
I know a teacher who, after several years of teaching, and teaching LGBTQ students, has not come out to their students. Their reasoning was (at least) partly to avoid possible harassment.
1 Question I am Left With: