Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School : Letters to Teachers book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School
Letters to Teachers

ISBN 9781138387140
Published December 10, 2018 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

In a set of compelling letters to teachers, Tara Goldstein addresses a full range of issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students and families at elementary and secondary school. Goldstein talks to teachers about how they can support LGBTQ students and families by normalizing LGBTQ lives in the curriculum, challenging homophobic and transphobic ideas, and building an inclusive school culture that both expects and welcomes LGBTQ students and their families. Moving and energizing, Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School provides readers with the knowledge and resources they need to create safer and more positive classrooms and discusses what it takes to build authentic, trusting relationships with LGBTQ students and families.Includes "The Unicorn Glossary" by benjamin lee hicks, the performed ethnography Snakes and Ladders by Tara Goldstein, and the verbatim play Out at School by Tara Goldstein, Jenny Salisbury, and Pam Baer.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Letter 1: Getting Acquainted

Part 1: Sexuality at School

Letter 2: Gay Straight Alliances

Letter 3: What Will the Parents Say?

Letter 4: Religious Concerns

Letter 5: Fighting for GSAs in Religious Schools

Letter 6: Love

Part 2: Gender at School

Letter 7: Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression

Letter 8: Gender Pronouns

Letter 9: Transitioning in Grade 1

Letter 10: Teacher Allyship

Letter 11: Listen to the Kids

Letter 12: Easy Transitions

Letter 13: The Harm We’ve Done

Letter 14: Sex Education

Part 3: LGBTQ Families at School

Letter 15: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Letter 16: Coming Out, Being Outed

Letter 17: Not Coming Out

Letter 18: Bullying: The School’s Responsibilities

Letter 19: Working with Bullies

Letter 20: Queer Parents, Autism, and Learning Disabilities

Letter 21: Poly Families

Letter 22: Expecting LGBTQ Families and Students at School

Conclusion: Letter 23: Take-Aways


An Annotated List of Favourite Resources

The Unicorn Glossary

Snakes and Ladders

Out at School


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Tara Goldstein is Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

benjamin lee hicks, Jenny Salisbury, and Pam Baer are PhD candidates at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and the Centre for Drama, Performance and Theatre Studies, University of Toronto.



'Reading this book is like taking a late afternoon walk with Tara through the incredible archive of stories, research data, resources and relationships that she has lovingly created and curated over the course of her landmark career. There is teaching here, but it is not didactic. The book doesn’t tell teachers what to do. Rather, it engages teachers as they are: people negotiating all kinds of different issues, views and needs while working towards a classroom environment that does less harm to everyone in the name of how gender and sexuality are ‘supposed’ to go. There are as many ways into the work here as there are ways of living gender and sexuality.'

—Dr. Lee Airton, Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education, Queen’s University and author of Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture