Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson
20. “Butterflies Starting a Tornado”: The Queer ‘Not Yet’ of New Zealand School-Based Queer Straight Alliance as a Utopic Site of Learning
“Butterflies Starting a Tornado”
The Queer ‘Not Yet’ of New Zealand School-Based Queer Straight Alliance as a Utopic Site of Learning
I think that our world is a more loving world,…it’s a bit of a utopia really (laughs), it’s a bit idealistic,…people are often a little less judgemental,…they don’t want to be making those judgements…it’s like people who are trying to be better people…it’s a positive utopia! (Ruby, Interview 2, August 24th, 2012)
Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of this moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport; we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds. (Muñoz, 2009, p. 1)
In this chapter, I draw on Muñoz’s (2009) notion of queer utopia to explore the ways in which a Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) in a provincial New Zealand high school works towards destabilising the hetero and gender normative here and now, and explores other ways of being in the world. As “butterflies starting a tornado” (Marie, face-to-face interview, October 21st, 2010), I suggest that the student-led QSA gestures towards the horizon of an as yet unrealised, beautiful, affective, and relational queer utopia, which can risk disappointment.
I begin by providing some background to the development of Queer Straight Alliances in New Zealand, and discuss the extent...
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