Rethinking the Mainstream Gay and Lesbian Movement Beyond the Classroom: Exclusionary Results from Inclusion-Based Assimilation Politics


  • Nicole C Ferry


This paper explores the current mainstream gay and lesbian equal rights movement in an attempt to better analyze the concept of “equal rights” and “equality” within U.S. discourse and curriculum.  Ostensibly, legal and political equality is encouraged for gay and lesbian individuals, however, this paper argues that the current direction of mainstream equal rights organizations is one leading toward a repetition of the past, whereby legal or political equality will not inevitably bring heterosexism to breakdown or diminish in its incidence or prevalence.  Conversely, it will (if it has not already) lead to fragility among the queer community as well as with dominant culture, the pervasive exclusion of other queer-identified individuals, and further domination by the same kinds of privileged people.  This paper advocates that a rethinking and reexamining of this movement is essential for teachers and their particular approach to educating students about equal rights in the classroom.

Author Biography

Nicole C Ferry

Nicole Ferry is a graduate student in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education Ph.D. program in the College of Education at Washington State University.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington State University, as well.  Her research interests lie in the areas of leadership, queer theory, education, and feminism.