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... John, et al., 2014). Additionally, few studies have examined support for LGBT youth in North American faith-based or religious schools (Bayly, 2007;Maher, 2004). Although the differences between the educational systems of the US and Canada need to be considered and appropriately contextualized, this study was conducted to determine if empirically established strategies and programs that have been found to be successful in supporting LGBT students in public schools in the US could also be successful in supporting LGBT students in publicly funded Canadian Catholic schools. ...
... In the US, where education is provided either by public schools that are funded and controlled by the government, or by private schools that receive no government-funding and are operated mostly by religious institutions, very few strategies and programs to support LGBT students have existed in the religiously affiliated private schools (Getz & Kirkley, 2006). Apart from a few publications that have looked into the success of GSAs and promoted the creation of safe staff through professional development in US Catholic high schools (Bayly, 2007;Maher, 2004), most of the research involving U.S. faith-based or private schools has focused on examining the attitudes, perspectives, and experiences of students and teachers on homosexuality (Getz & Kirkley, 2006;Kirby & Michaelson, 2008;Maher & Sever, 2007). ...
In 2012, Canadian media coverage on Bill 13—an Ontario legislative proposal to require all publicly funded schools to support Gay-Straight Alliances as a means of addressing issues concerning bullied lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students—instigated a divisive exchange among representatives of the Ontario Catholic school sector. Beyond these dialectics and polemics, a proactive mix of advocates from schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) of Ontario took steady steps to address the circumstances of their LGBT students. This study included semi-structured interviews with ten stakeholders from the WCDSB to determine if strategies and programs deemed successful for supporting LGBT students in public, secular schools in the United States could also be successful in supporting LGBT students in publicly funded Canadian Catholic schools. The study findings revealed that the strategies and programs could indeed be successful in supporting LGBT students in Canadian Catholic schools. We further found that the success of strategies and programs was influenced by factors such as acknowledging the priority of LGBT youth’s needs over ongoing disputes, realizing the significant influence of Catholic values, and recognizing the necessity for school boards to maintain legitimacy as publicly funded institutions.
... Given the meaning and potential of these spaces, it seems unsurprising that formal education is another major sub-area of coming out research. A particular focus within this pool of publications, especially since the 2000s, lies on how to make educational spaces more LGBTQ+ inclusive and safe to come out in (e.g., Barnes & Carlile, 2018;Bayly, 2007;Bloomfield & Fisher, 2016;Camicia, 2016;Chappell et al., 2018;Dellenty, 2019;DeWitt, 2012;Fisher & Komosa-Hawkins, 2013;Francis et al., 2020;Greteman, 2018;Jones, 2015;Koschoreck & Tooms, 2009;Mayo, 2014;Russell & Horn, 2017;Sadowski, 2016;Sears, 2005;Shane, 2020;Tomlinson-Gray, 2021;Vaccaro et al., 2012). This focus is in line with professional expectations towards educators to 'establish an effective learning environment for students' (Graves, 2015, p. 33) and 'maintain a safe school [and university] climate' (ibid). ...
Coming out is a fast‐growing global research area with numerous interdisciplinary publications dedicated to its exploration. To contribute to a more organised and concise way of understanding this rapidly expanding field, I introduce a three‐lens typology. Based on the systematic categorisation of over 700 publications, coming out research can be viewed via the following three lenses: (1) the different social institutions in which individuals come out, (2) to whom individuals come out, and (3) the content of individuals' coming out. The identified lenses focus on ‘coming out in’, ‘coming out to’ and ‘coming out as’, which adds to current conceptual understandings of ‘coming out into’ and ‘coming out of’. Further, lens 3 demonstrates another usage shift of the coming out terminology. The concept of coming out originally was used outside of sexuality contexts and currently is being used more broadly again. However, in contrast to its original meaning, the new areas of application (e.g., fatness, atheism, illness) are still linked to conceptualisations and experiences of non‐normativity. This publication assists students, scholars, and practitioners with navigating the extensive amount of coming out literature. It further illustrates the potential and challenges of coming out research and points towards the future—the if, how and what—of this field.
... In the United States, where education is provided either by public schools that are funded and controlled by government, or by private schools that receive no government funding and are operated mostly by religious institutions, very few strategies and programs to support LGBT students exist in the religiously affiliated private schools (Getz & Kirkley, 2006). Apart from a few publications that have looked into the success of GSAs and the professional development of staff in American Catholic high schools (Bayly, 2007;Maher, 2004), most research involving American faith-based or private schools has focused on examining the attitudes, perspectives, and experiences of students and teachers regarding homosexuality (Getz & Kirkley, 2006;Kirby & Michaelson, 2008;Maher & Sever, 2007). ...
Twenty-six key stakeholders from schools in Waterloo Region, Ontario, participated in semi-structured, open-ended interviews for this dissertation. They included students, teachers, school board representatives in administrator and superintendent roles, trustees, and community service providers. This study explored the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in publicly-funded schools, the effect of those experiences on their mental health and well-being, and the success of strategies, programs, and policies implemented by schools to address LGBT youth issues. It also examined the perspectives of participants on Bill 13, Ontario’s Accepting Schools Act, particularly strengths and weaknesses of the bill in terms of mandating initiatives that would promote positive school climates that are accepting and inclusive of all students, as well as potential benefits and challenges of the legislation. Findings revealed a dichotomy in the perspectives of participants that led to the proposal of a specificity-flexibility dialectical framework in this dissertation. Applying the framework to initiatives that could be readily interpreted as adherence to the mandates of Bill 13 in Waterloo Region school boards, a theoretical interpretation of how the actual positive outcomes resulted from the legislation of Bill 13 was posited. It became apparent from the theoretical interpretation that the participants’ perspectives over two and a half years ago were considerably foretelling of the benefits and positive outcomes that would transpire from the legislation of Bill 13. There were positive outcomes that resulted from sections of the bill that exercised specificity by explicitly mandating the implementation of strategies, programs, and policies in publicly funded schools that have been empirically and historically proven to support LGBT students. There were also positive outcomes that resulted from sections of the bill that allowed for flexibility so that stakeholders could implement new, creative, and customized initiatives to navigate challenges distinct to each of their schools, as well as address LGBT youth issues that were neglected or left unresolved by previous interventions. Researchers who collaborate closely with policymakers could potentially utilize the specificity-flexibility dialectical framework in the future in order to maximize the benefits that could result from a proposed bill advocating for marginalized minority populations. An Integrated Theoretical Model for Supporting LGBT Student Mental Health and Well-Being that was constructed at the end of this dissertation also holds promise for future use in advocacy research.
... Given the high proportion of violent assaults experienced by people who identify as LGBT+, this is a very important area for consideration. One of the big concerns for parents of LGBT+ children or who are themselves LGBT+ is to ensure that their children's school is a safe and nurturing environment (Bayly, 2007;Robinson, 2010;Taylor and Peter, 2011). When the core ethos of a learning environment is perceived to disregard -or even proactively suppress -LGBT+ identities, then negative responses toward people who have those identities are reproduced. ...
This article examines the 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis in terms of its significance for addressing LGBT+ issues in Catholic learning environments. Using the 10 capabilities necessary for human flourishing as outlined by Martha Nussbaum in her capability approach to civil society and questions of social justice, I argue that the implications of Evangelii Gaudium for Catholic learning environments is significant and provides necessary guidance for addressing LGBT+ social justice issues where these issues have often been ignored or insufficiently addressed. In Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis is challenging the global community of Catholics to consider what kind of society the Church is producing, and I argue that a capabilities approach provides a fruitful way in which to consider and respond to this challenge. Although written with Catholicism in mind, the challenges presented by Pope Francis are pertinent for consideration by other faith communities and educators more generally.
The Gift of Anger
In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a novel about the practice of slavery in the South because she was angry. She was angry at the fact of slavery but, much more so, she was angry at the indifference with which Northerners regarded slavery. So she wrote a novel that put a human and suffering face on that slavery such that, Northerners, who generally had no personal exposure with slavery, could gain for themselves a close and personal look at the ugly underbelly of that dreadful institution. Her book sold 300,000 copies during the first year.
I, too, am angry. First and foremost, I am angry at the indifference and cowardice that kept me silent for over twenty-five years while I was being honored as one of the best and brightest teachers at The Athenaeum of Ohio. I knew, from personal experiences, that the teaching of my church regarding homosexuality was a distorted and cruel doctrine. But I also knew that no one who openly challenged this teaching could survive in the climate of fear and conformity within my seminary.
Homophobia is a social disease that has been widely exposed and eradicated during the last fifty years. Within conservative churches, however, there is an addiction to homophobia that twists and turns in the guts of the most devout worshippers. As an instance of this, the American Catholic bishops triumphantly declared that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of “same-sex marriages” did not change their minds and that “God’s law trumps human law.” Thus a vocal minority of bishops is carefully orchestrating a campaign to shame and to silence those Catholics who support or who enter into same-sex unions. Teachers are fired in my archdiocese for supporting youths who come out as gays or lesbians. Lesbian couples in my parish who are active contributors to lay ministry live in fear that their pastor will find out and their ministries and/or their right to take communion would be withdrawn. A gay Catholic suffering a heart attack at a local hospital was denied the last rites by a self-righteous hospital chaplain because he “refused to repent of his lifelong homosexuality.”
So my job has been to write the book that would make it impossible for this pious hypocrisy to continue to exist within Christian churches.
This chapter explores “religiosity” as a critical concept for advancing the dialogue about queer studies and education for the twenty-first century. Religiosity, or an inappropriate devotion to the rituals and traditions of a religion, is particularly problematic for sexual and gender minorities in publicly funded faith-based schools where homophobic and transphobic doctrines of the faith are more commonly enforced than other doctrines. The plight of sexual and gender minority groups in Canadian faith-based schools is a neglected research topic due to Canadians’ deep respect for the fundamental freedom of religion and a corresponding prevailing belief that religiously inspired discriminatory practices occurring in publicly funded schools are a normal part of religious freedom that should continue to go unchallenged. The author calls upon anti-oppression education researchers to overcome their reluctance to include religious schools in their research.
There is a growing recognition in society that more needs to be done to support LGBTQ youth in schools. In particular, school climate reports reveal that this need is particularly pressing for transgender individuals who are little understood and often rendered invisible or made to conform to gender-normative social standards. This mixed methods study surveyed and interviewed preservice teachers at three Catholic institutions. In particular, we focus on the shifting landscape of Catholic education in Canada as it relates to the support of transgender youth. The content of the study is framed by a common first grade social studies theme: family diversity, and takes its lead from the recent papal urging to pursue topics of discomfort at the peripheries of Catholic thinking. We explore how Catholic preservice teachers respond to the idea of teaching about transgender-parent families. The findings show there is dissonance between the personal and professional beliefs of new Catholic teachers. This dissonance is reflective of the beliefs held by North American Catholics at large, thus further illuminating the challenges and opportunities that are present in the emerging discussion about how to best support transgender students in Catholic school contexts.
Sears and Herriot examine the complex interplay between and among religion, citizenship and social justice in education. Beginning with a discussion of the diverse ways individuals and groups understand these concepts, the chapter moves on to consider several key themes including: the idea that religion is a ubiquitous and persistent part of modern societies; the anomaly that religious people, groups, and institutions are sometimes the victims of social injustice and discrimination and sometimes the purveyors of those same things; and the fluid and contested nature of human rights. The chapter concludes by arguing that negotiating the complexities of the intersections between religion, citizenship and social justice requires a high degree of religious literacy.
This article reviews Creating Safe Environments for LGBT Students: A Catholic Schools Perspective. Edited by Michael J. Bayly, this is a training manual that attempts to equip U.S. Catholic high-school teachers with methods and strategies for training other teacher colleagues in presenting a balanced perspective on the teachings of the Catholic Church related to homosexuality.
Homosexual female probands with monozygotic cotwins, dizygotic cotwins, or adoptive sisters were recruited using homophile publications. Sexual orientation of relatives was assessed either by asking relatives directly, or, when this was impossible, by asking the probands. Of the relatives whose sexual orientation could be confidently rated, 34 (48%) of 71 monozygotic cotwins, six (16%) of 37 dizygotic cotwins, and two (6%) of 35 adoptive sisters were homosexual. Probands also reported 10 (14%) nontwin biologic sisters to be homosexual, although those sisters were not contacted to confirm their orientations. Heritabilities were significant using a wide range of assumptions about both the base rate of homosexuality in the population and ascertainment bias. The likelihood that a monozygotic cotwin would also be homosexual was unrelated to measured characteristics of the proband such as self-reported history of childhood gender nonconformity. Concordant monozygotic twins reported similar levels of childhood gender nonconformity.
Homosexual male probands with monozygotic cotwins, dizygotic cotwins, or adoptive brothers were recruited using homophile publications. Sexual orientation of relatives was assessed either by asking relatives directly, or when this was impossible, asking the probands. Of the relatives whose sexual orientation could be rated, 52% (29/56) of monozygotic cotwins, 22% (12/54) of dizygotic cotwins, and 11% (6/57) of adoptive brothers were homosexual. Heritabilities were substantial under a wide range of assumptions about the population base rate of homosexuality and ascertainment bias. However, the rate of homosexuality among nontwin biological siblings, as reported by probands, 9.2% (13/142), was significantly lower than would be predicted by a simple genetic hypothesis and other published reports. A proband's self-reported history of childhood gender non-conformity did not predict homosexuality in relatives in any of the three subsamples. Thus, childhood gender nonconformity does not appear to be an indicator of genetic loading for homosexuality. Cotwins from concordant monozygotic pairs were very similar for childhood gender nonconformity.