How do gay and lesbian teachers negotiate their professional and sexual identities at work, given that these identities are constructed as mutually exclusive, even as mutually opposed? Using interviews and other ethnographic materials from Texas and California, School's Out explores how teachers struggle to create a classroom persona that balances who they are and what's expected of them in a climate of pervasive homophobia. Catherine Connell's examination of the tension between the rhetoric of gay pride and the professional ethic of discretion insightfully connects and considers complicating factors, from local law and politics to gender privilege. She also describes how racialized discourses of homophobia thwart challenges to sexual injustices in schools. Written with ethnographic verve, School's Out is essential reading for specialists and students of queer studies, gender studies, and educational politics.
Catherine Connell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University.
List of Tables Acknowledgments 1. Pride and Professionalism: The Dilemmas of Gay and Lesbian Teachers 2. "Like a Fox Guarding the Henhouse": The History of LGBTs in the Teaching Profession 3. Splitters, Knitters, and Quitters: Pathways to Identity Making 4. Dangerous Disclosures: The Legal, Cultural, and Embodied Considerations of Coming Out 5. "A Bizarre or Flamboyant Character": Homonormativity in the Classroom 6. Racialized Discourses of Homophobia: Using Race to Predict and Discredit Discrimination 7. From Gay-Friendly to Queer-Friendly: New Possibilities for Schools Appendix A: Methodology Appendix B: Interview Schedule for Teachers Notes References Index