Whitney Roach Seeks Ways to Make Schools More Inclusive for Queer Students
“There’s a large failure to account for the fact that queer adults had to navigate their youth.”
-Whitney Neumeyer Roach
Describing her doctoral research as a passion project, Roach is studying how queer identities are represented — or more likely not represented — in educational settings between kindergarten and high school.
She is searching for evidence of queer people appearing in anything related to schools. She isn’t finding gay identities in materials sent home with students, which often advertise Dinner with Dad or a Mom’s Snack Club. She’s not finding much evidence of openly gay teachers, either.
All these signals about normalcy seep into a young person’s pores and can leave people who veer from heterosexual ideals — self-reported to be as much as 10 percent of the population — suffering in the margins.
And teachers in Texas are not free to share anything related to non-heteronormative identities.