Queer Gender Performance And Media In School: Dissident Reading, Bullying, And The Word ‘Gay’

Authors: Pullen, C.

Journal: Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture

This article explores the potential of youth to learn about gender performance and sexual identity in school, framing the vulnerability of LGBTQ youth and issues of bullying. Exploring the significance of ‘dissident reading’ as the ability of a student to independently read or interpret media representations that may involve an analysis of stereotyping and irony, this article foregrounds research from five schools in the United Kingdom involving responses from 82 school children. Offering both a theoretical examination of dissident reading as a process to challenge hierarchies of gender performance and sexual identity, and an analysis of the discourse of school children themselves, a mixed methods approach is involved in this research, framing limitations in school environments in the education of sexual diversity. This article argues that individual teachers have not only historically embarked on personal strategies of education outside the curriculum regarding the needs of LGBTQ youth, but also that with the contemporary rise of populism, that there is an increasing need for this.

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