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'Miss, you're so gay.' Queer stories from trainee teachers
University of Exeter
This study focuses on interviews with six lesbian, gay or bisexual trainee teachers, and explores their experiences in relation to sexual orientation. Initial analysis reveals interesting perspectives on the lives of trainees in Higher Education, during school-based work and socially; it also provides a window onto the attitudes to sexuality (individual and institutional) encountered by interviewees. Further analysis takes theoretical tools from three overlapping discourses in which these trainees are participants: the local campus culture, the construction of sexualities in schools, and wider society's perceptions of gender and sexuality. These tools uncover significant concerns around identity management, vulnerability and powerlessness, institutional silence, and the hegemonic masculinity of some student cultures. They also reveal significant creative resistance to discrimination, enabling us to conclude that, in spite of some methodological difficulties, idealism is not misplaced as an inspiration to emancipatory endeavour.
This is a postprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Sex Education© 2004 Copyright Taylor & Francis; Sex Education is available online at http://www.informaworld.com