LGBTQ Kids, School Safety, and Missing the Big Picture: How the Dominant Bullying Discourse Prevents School Professionals from Thinking about Systemic Marginalization or . . . Why We Need to Rethink LGBTQ Bullying
QED A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. . Michigan State University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. ABSTRACT Dominant
... nderstanding of LGBTQ students' school experiences has been shaped by discourses that reduce "the problem" to bullies who express homophobic attitudes by targeting LGBTQ peers. In turn, interventions typically focus on eliminating bullying behaviors and providing protection for victims. Within this framework, cultural privileging of heterosexuality and gender normativity goes unquestioned, LGBTQ marginalization is reproduced and re-entrenched in new ways, and schools avoid responsibility for complicity in LGBTQ harassment. This paper explores educators' stories of LGBTQ harassment and how dominant bullying discourses are shaping educators' understandings of the needs of LGBTQ students. We propose a new definition of bullying to create a more useful framework for understanding the social nature of peer-to-peer aggression and designing interventions to address the cultural roots of this aggression. Finally, we take the position that a majority of peer-to-peer aggression in U.S. public schools is some form of gender policing, and we believe bullying must be redefined to account for relationships between peer targeting and structural inequalities.