Is It Safe To Come Out Yet?: The Impact of Secondary Schooling on the Positive Identity Development of Ten Young Gay Men, or, That's a Queer Way To Behave?Town, Shane
Abstract: The "lived reality" of secondary schooling for ten young gay men and the impact of this "reality" upon their emerging sexual identities is explored in this study. Two semi-structured interviews were held with each participant which allowed for the exploration of peer group culture, social and sexual activities, teachers, curriculum, counselors and identity management strategies. The discussion of these contexts is framed by a consideration of social constructionist and post structuralist ideas which challenge the current positioning of sexual minority youth as "abnormal," "unnatural," and "unacceptable." In light of these experiences the young men constructed what they perceived were "acceptable" masculine identities that enabled them to survive heterosexist and homophobic school environments. The discussion that follows suggests that schools need to challenge hegemonic practices that currently reinforce the binaries of heterosexual/homosexual and masculine/feminine in both classrooms and the wider school environment. These perceptions are held up in comparison to the young men's reflections of the research process they have been involved in, suggesting potential for personal change that can be elicited through the provision of venues and opportunities that allow for an exploration of potential identities that "read against the text" of "normal," "masculine," and "heterosexual." Contains 32 references. (Author)
Title: Is It Safe To Come Out Yet?: The Impact of Secondary Schooling on the Positive Identity Development of Ten Young Gay Men, or, That's a Queer Way To Behave?
Author: Town, Shane
Note: 34p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (77th, New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).
Publication Year: Apr 1996
Document Type: Conference Paper (150); Research Report (143)
Target Audience: Teachers and Practitioners
ERIC Identifier: ED395262
Clearinghouse Identifier: CG027089
Descriptors: * Adolescent Development; Foreign Countries; High School Students; * Homophobia; * Homosexuality; Secondary Education; * Secondary School Students; Self Concept; * Self Esteem; * Sexual Identity; Social Cognition