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The Gay Agenda

Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice


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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16. Queering Educational Research and thePolitics of “Conservatively Queer”:Sexmuteness in American Public Schools, by Jenna McWilliams


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Queering Educational Research and the Politics of “Conservatively Queer”: Sexmuteness in American Public Schools

Jenna McWilliams

A high school teacher I have known for several years recently asked me to come to her classroom and work with one of her students. The student, she said, was smart but struggled socially—she was a bully. The student had also recently cut her hair very short and adopted a masculine version of her name. Students did not like her and did not want her in their classes. The teacher, knowing me well enough to think I might have some things in common with this student, hoped I could help get her back on track.

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