Thinking Queer: Sexuality, Culture, and Education

By Susan Talburt; Shirley R. Steinberg | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Transgression and the Situated Body:
Gender, Sex, and
the Gay Male Teacher

Eric Rofes

I am a middle-aged white gay male educator who has taught at the preschool, elementary school, and middle school levels. I have worked as a youth advocate, served on statewide panels addressing issues affecting children and youth, and published several books on topics of concern to kids. Currently I am completing a doctorate and teach education courses to undergraduate students at a large research university in the San Francisco Bay area and am active in school reform efforts.

I spend most of my work life grading papers, counseling students, preparing and teaching classes, and observing in classrooms. I attend conferences focused on contemporary school reform initiatives and engage in rowdy debates focused on school choice, equity, and multicultural educational practices. I am currently engaged in an ongoing study focused on historical constructions of childhood, urban youth identities, and the effects of charter schools on public education.

I live in the heart of the Castro, the primary gay neighborhood in San Francisco, considered by many to be the primary gay city in the United States. I have been active in gay liberation for almost twenty-five years, and have worked in gay community centers, AIDS organizations, and the lesbian and gay media. While I have certainly engaged in mainstream gay rights work, my primary interests have focused on aspects of gay liberation that chart directions far afield from mainstream, heteronormative cultures and social formations. I am not interested in a gay rights agenda that argues that lesbians and gay men are the same as heterosexuals, and therefore deserve equal rights. I am committed to a gay liberation agenda

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