Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking
Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim
14. Strategies of Queer Mentorship: Cats in Hats Colluding in the Academy
JENNIFER LINDE AND BELLE EDSON
The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day
The choice that queer graduate students make to attend research institutions (R-1) with large, ambitious graduate faculties and cohorts comprised mostly of straight colleagues is a risky one. In this period of intense intellectual training queers face the control of insidious and overt norms of institutional homophobia and heterosexual privilege. Queer bodies in powerful organizational settings are potentially at risk, especially the newly initiated. The anticipated stress of entering a new job or a new school is compounded by the reality that most organizations do not put forth policies or foster attitudes that welcome newly arrived queer employees/students. Queer student bodies may be marked as “other;” their queerness forever entering the room ahead of their scholarship, pedagogy or successes. There is a possibility that the social relationships queer students form within the institution will be overly influenced by myopic identity politics that limit the learning of academic collegiality. In one of the most fruitful periods of growth for emerging young scholars, queer students may feel isolated, excluded, silenced and angry. Indeed, the years that they spend in the great house of graduate learning may feel very wet and very cold.
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