Invisible Boundaries

Addressing Sexualities Equality in Children’s Worlds

November 2008
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    10th November 2008
  • ISBN 9781858564302
  • Language English
  • Pages 150 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9.25"

British children’s diverse experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities in their families, communities, personal lives and schools were explored by researchers, practitioners, interest groups, policy makers and young people. They came together over 18 months until May 2007 and this book tells the stories that emerged.

The narrative and analysis opens a new arena for those working with children and presents: new ways of conceptualizing and overcoming homophobia and transphobia in educational settings; ideas about how to translate policy supporting sexualities equality into the experiences of children and their families; the voices of young LGBT people on their own experiences of childhood; and fresh insights for people who work with children and may not have considered the importance and implications of sexualities equality for children’s lives.

Contributors include Mark Jennett, author of Stand Up For Us, British government guidelines on challenging homophobia in schools; Stephen Whittle, trans activist and professor of equalities law; members of Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester; members of the No Outsiders research team challenging homophobia in primary schools; Sue Sanders, co-chair of Schools Out and teacher David Watkins.

This is an important book for anyone living or working with children: parents, teachers, community workers, voluntary workers, and all those brought under the broad scope of children's services across the UK, and equivalent services elsewhere. It brings together the voices of people from many sectors that realize the urgency of addressing issues of sexualities equality as early as possible in young children's lives.

Acknowledgements; Introduction - Renee DePalma and Elizabeth Atkinson; PART I POLICING THE BOUNDARIES OF SEX-GENDER-SEXUALITY IN CHILDREN'S WORDS 1) Tackling homophobia, creating safer spaces - Sue Sanders; 2) Feeling at home: Children of lesbian-headed familes telling their family stores in primary school settings - Catherine Donovan; 3) School: the best days of your life? - Stephen Whittle, Lewis Turner and Maryam Al-Alami; 4) Walking the Talk: Young people making identites - Debbie Epstein and Richared Johnson; PART II MEMORIES OF TRANSGRESSIVE CHILDHOODS 5) A pink rabbit and a blue rabbit: learning about genders (and sex) at primary school - Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester and Jo Frankham; 6) Straddling the scalpel of identity, my earlies memory - Claire Jenkins; 7) Memories of homophobia in childhood" 'social exclusion is not a place where one chooses to hang out' - Mark Vicars; PART III: SCHOOLS AS SITES FOR CONTESTING BOUNDARIES; 8) A transgender story: from birth to secondary school - Kate Hinton; 9) Comentary on J's story - Jay Stewart; 10) Building allies against exclusion and oppression: teaching young children to take a stand - Mara Sapon-Shevin; 11) Heads in the sand, backs against the wall: Probelms and priorities when tackling homophobia in schools - David Watkins; 12) Exploring gender identity, queering heteronormativity - Renee DePalma and Elizabeth Atkinson; 13) Using children's literature to challenge homophobia in primary schools - The No Outsiders Project Team; Note on contributors; index

Renee DePalma

Renee DePalma of the University of Sunderland has written extensively on equality and inclusion and is Senior Researcher for the ESRC-funded project No Outsiders: Researching Approaches to Sexualities Equality in Primary Schools.

Elizabeth Atkinson

Elizabeth Atkinson has published widely on equality and human rights, with special interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. She is Director of the No Outsiders research project, and was convenor of the ESRC-funded seminar series, Invisible Boundaries: Addressing Sexualities Equality in Children’s Worlds. Elizabeth is series co-editor of Trentham’s Discourse, Power, Resistance series.