Joseph Rose Died For Our Sins : Stories of the Experience of Being Out in High School

Type of resource
Joseph Rose Died For Our Sins : Stories of the Experience of Being Out in High School
The author points out that while studies in the social sciences have looked at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, few have focused on how they experience school. He notes that sexual orientation is still a taboo subject or only treated cursorily in educational institutions and teacher-training programmes. Research that does look at schools is mitigated by subjects who are at different degrees of being out in their schools, or are treated as a monolith with other LGBT youth, or have been recruited through psychosocial agencies, and by data gathered retrospectively and/or at arms-length through surveys. The author describes the experience of being gay and out at school for seven Montreal Anglophone male students aged sixteen to eighteen. The author's analysis indicates that the experience of being out in high school is characterized by: (a) managing "the secret" of being gay before and during coming out; (b) seeing being gay as just being yourself; (c) perceiving the school as privately supportive, but publicly indifferent to gay students; (d) emotionally reflecting the school environment; (e) valuing relationships as a positive; (f) seeing harassment, gossip, and gender differences as negatives; (g) ascribing to perpetrators of homophobia and harassment character flaws and anachronistic beliefs; (h) being left on your own to deal with homophobia and harassment as others abdicate their responsibilities; (i) employing escapist, self-protection, and resistance strategies to deal with homophobia and harassment; (j) searching for connectivity to other gays and the LGBT community; (k) facing the silence of information and resources in schools on LGBT issues and people; and (l) advising others to be true to themselves.
PhD dissertation
McGill University
# of Pages
Whatling, Michael. “Joseph Rose Died For Our Sins : Stories of the Experience of Being Out in High School.” PhD dissertation, McGill University, 2005.
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