Sexual and gender diversity in schools: belonging, in/exclusion and the African child

SOURCE: Perspectives in Education
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2019
TITLE AUTHOR(S): F.Reygan
KEYWORDS: CHILDREN, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, GENDER EQUALITY, SCHOOLS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, SOCIAL INCLUSION
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10873

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Abstract

The school system in South Africa has only in recent years begun to more deeply grapple with issues of power and privilege along a number of axes of oppression including race, gender, class and recently, sexual and gender diversity. As a result, learners who embody sexual and gender diversity experiences spaces of belonging and exclusion in school settings. As a result, this paper asks: What needs to be done in the school system to reconstruct the 'African child' to include sexual and gender diversity? Possibilities include inclusive policy implementation; inclusive learning and teaching resource materials; teacher preparedness to teach about and affirm sexual and gender diversity in the classroom and a clear rejection of homophobic and transphobic violence. The lessons learnt through the process of challenging racism in the school system - such as around essentialising, othering and systemic violence - have yet to be fully applied to sexual and gender diversity in schools.