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.

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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