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The Gay Agenda

Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice


Edited By Gerald Walton

The «gay agenda» is a rhetorical strategy deployed by the religious right and other social conservatives to magnify fear and hostility of queers. Queers are accused, among other things, of strategizing to recruit children into sexually deviant lifestyles; dismantling family and marriage as cornerstones of civilization; and forcing the entertainment industry and court systems to do their bidding. Queers certainly do have an agenda but it is not the one that the religious right claims it is. It is to assert their presence in the public space; claim and name their identities; and strategize for social justice in law, schools, and workplaces. The Gay Agenda: Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice claims and reclaims the language of «agenda» and turns the rhetoric of the religious right on its ear. The contributors provide insightful and sharp commentary on gay agendas for human rights, marriage and family, cultural influences, schooling and education, and politics and law.
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15. Dismantling Folk Theories and Claiming Space Within aSocial Justice Agenda, by Renée DePalma


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Dismantling Folk Theories and Claiming Space Within a Social Justice Agenda

Renée DePalma

There are several recurring concerns that inevitably come up when lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people and “children” are mentioned in the same sentence. When the conversation moves into educational contexts, these concerns become even sharper and start to reveal a series of underlying assumptions. While for some educators, “teaching queerly” means actively exploring “taken-for-granted assumptions about diversity, identities, childhood, and prejudice” (Sears, 1999, p. 5), others fear accusations of promoting a “gay agenda” in schools.

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