‘We are getting there slowly’: lesbian teacher experiences in the post-Section 28 environment
Taylor and Francis
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Prior to the subtraction of Section 28 from the 1988 Local Government Act in 2003, a substantial amount of research was published that specifically examined the experiences of lesbian physical education (PE) teachers. This article contributes to the existing academic literature by exploring the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual teachers working in a post-Section 28 school environment. Drawing on life history interviews of two lesbian PE teachers, we offer insights into how the abolition of Section 28 has affected their lives. Comparable to previous studies, both women reported feeling fearful of the consequences of identifying as lesbian and employed various strategies in order to maintain a divide between their public and private lives so as to conceal their sexual identities from colleagues, pupils and parents. However, in contrast to much of the previous literature, we found that the teachers in this study also identified with narratives of resistance. Despite being fearful of coming out at work, they nevertheless remained committed to coming out when the context is appropriate, to challenging the heteronormative symbolic order configured around the heterosexual/homosexual binary and to more proactively promoting sexual diversity and tolerance in schools.
Sport, Education and Society;
Edwards, L., Brown, D. and Smith, L. (2014), ‘We are getting there slowly’: lesbian teacher experiences in the post-Section 28 environment. Sport, Education & Society, 21(3), pp. 299-318
This article was published in Sport, Education and Society on 5 August 2014 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.935317
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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