Queer and Trivial Tidbits: History’s Role in Projects of Self-Recognition for LGBT/Queer Youth
Kim Hackford-Peer

Within the typical secondary school curriculum, homosexuals do not exist. They are "nonpersons" in the finest Stalinist sense. They have fought no battles, held no offices, explored nowhere, written no literature, built nothing, invented nothing, and solved no equations. Ironically, they were neither Greeks nor Romans, and they did not write poetry, compose music, paint, or sculpt. The lesson to the heterosexual student is abundantly clear: homosexuals do nothing of consequence. To the homosexual student, the message has even greater power: no one who has ever felt as you do has done anything worth mentioning

-- Unks, 324

We need to know that we are not accidental, that our culture has grown and changed with the currents of time, that we, like others have a social history comprised of individual lives and community struggles.In short, that we have a story of a people to tell. To live with history is to have a memory not just of our own lives, but of the lives of others, people we have never met but whose voices and actions connect us to our collective selves.

-- Nestle qtd. in Brown and Knopp, 42

I would like to see a day in the not-so-distant future when every child will grow up knowing of our community's contributions to our nation's development. Children who learn this lesson will learn another important one: LGBT individuals are people, too. When they learn this, homophobia and heterosexism will be on their way to becoming history. That would be the best lesson of all.

-- Jennings, para. 14

In this day and age, if young LGBT/queer[1] people want to learn about LGBT/queer history,[2] they must simply find a computer and search the Internet. In fact, a basic Google search for “famous lgbt people in history” yields hundreds of possible sites to visit.[3] Many such sites consist of lists of people who either identify themselves as LGBT/queer or are identified by others as LGBT/queer. Some also provide a narrative of the person’s life or ‘evidence’ that the person is/was indeed an LGBT/queer person. The majority of these sites do not provide much in the way of historical context or in-depth discussions about the events of the figures’ lives. They simply make a claim about the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and leave the reader to fill in the gaps by either seeking out further information, or using their imagination.

This exercise of searching and imagining can provide comfort to an LGBT/queer person because it can, as pioneering historian Joan Nestle claims, provide a sense of connection to other LGBT/queer people and to our “collective selves” (qtd. in Brown and Knopp 42) by revealing the existence of other LGBT/queer people and allowing us to imagine how we might be like them. It can also challenge the notion that LGBT/queer people are “nonpersons” (Unks) by correcting the misinformation and omissions discussed by critical educator Gerald Unks. Additionally it can, as Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) founder Kevin Jennings hopes, show that LGBT/queer people exist and can contribute significantly to society. The Internet is not the only place for LGBT/queer people to learn about LGBT/queer history; the information is also available in the form of books, posters, t-shirts, decks of trivia cards, and bookmarks. Much of the information is available in small, easily digestible formats like lists of LGBT/queer people, places, events, symbols, or issues, accompanied by brief descriptions ranging in length from a sentence to a few pages. This information is relatively easy to access, so it is not difficult for young LGBT/queer people to piece together a historical past of ‘their people’ and to scan it looking for reflections of themselves, and clues about the LGBT/queer people, places, and culture(s) they already know about and/or are looking for.

But what else are these pieces of history doing? If they are providing LGBT/queer people with opportunities for self-recognition, how are they also limiting opportunities? I contend that these opportunities are limited by the ways in which the information is commonly presented. We get tidbits of information in the form of lists or trivia. Statements are decontextualized and presented as simple facts without acknowledging the complexities of the lives and events themselves, or discussing how identities intersect to impact lived experience. In many ways, the presentation re-centers whiteness, a middle-class U.S.-centric identity, and even heterosexuality, since this assimilationist presentation is not questioned but rather set up as the frame through which LGBT/queer people are presented and viewed. I wonder what this relatively new ability to easily access LGBT/queer history via various types of digital and print media actually accomplishes for LGBT/queer youth.

Once an LGBT/queer young person knows that Eleanor Roosevelt had a female partner who lived in the White House with her, what do they really know? Perhaps a better question is what do they think they know? What assumptions underlie this knowledge? What do we really know, and how do we know it? What kinds of work can this knowledge do for LGBT/queer youth? How does historical knowledge allow for recognition or mis-recognition in order to legitimate (or de-legitimate) LGBT/queer people, lives, experiences, and cultures? I am concerned that learning LGBT/queer history from lists of tidbits of information has the potential to reinforce a heteronormative framework which only allows for the recognition of certain ‘others’ and ‘outsiders’ who are deemed acceptable because they fit into pre-existing frameworks.

I have recently begun to grapple with these questions and in doing so, have had the opportunity to reflect on my own relationship with LGBT/queer history – both as an absence from my educational experiences in the United States, and as a process of creating its presence by seeking it out and taking it in. I have used it as evidence of my own possibilities for existence, I have turned to it to learn about ‘my culture,’ and I have looked to it for inspiration and empowerment. It has made me feel sad, angry, lonely, tired, proud, hopeful, sneaky, and ‘in the know.’ I have seen many of my LGBT/queer friends and students develop similar relationships with LGBT/queer history. In the remainder of this essay I will consider the most obvious encounter I have had (as an educator) with LGBT/queer history, and I will reflect on the ways I have seen these tidbits of LGBT/queer history play significant roles (as obstacles and opportunities) in the processes of self-recognition for LGBT/queer young people.

As I reflect on my relationship with LGBT/queer history, I keep returning to a particular moment in time and a specific group of students who I advised. These students, at this time, were drawn into the process of uncovering the history of ‘their people’ and as a result I witnessed shifts in the students’ sense of self and in the climate of the community that surrounded them. It is significant to note that this happened in a small rural town in Colorado, a place not commonly thought of as a hotbed of LGBT/queer culture. While there are some exceptions, much of the work in the U.S. concerning LGBT/queer people is done in large metropolitan areas where LGBT/queer people flock to create lives, communities, and cultures. This ghettoization of LGBT/queer people provides vast opportunities for research and scholarship, but focusing our studies on areas more densely populated by LGBT/queer people does not necessarily accomplish much for the LGBT/queer people living in areas that are more isolated and stereotypically less accepting of LGBT/queer people. I have found that in more isolated areas access to the Internet and other textual and mediated representations of LGBT/queer people and culture(s) is one of the primary (if not the only) ways that some young people can find reflections of themselves in the world. This situation makes it ever more pressing that we engage in critical thoughtful dialogues about the role of LGBT/queer history and its potential promises and pitfalls when presented in the form of tidbits and trivia.

Southern Colorado – Fall 2003

A few years ago I was the Gay Straight Alliance’s (GSA) advisor at a small, public, liberal arts college in a rural town in southern Colorado. My partner and I were the only two publicly out members of the school’s professional faculty or staff. We lived on campus and our apartment quickly became a hangout for GSA members. One afternoon a student stopped by and started looking through our bookshelf while we finished getting our one-year-old down for a nap. Once he was asleep we returned to the living room to find a few more students had gathered. They were stretched out on the floor, squished together on the couch, sitting on pillows, leaning against each other, and one had even transformed our coffee table, a blanket, and some stuffed animals into a chaise lounge. It looked like they were playing a game of some sort, but they were all silent. Silence was not common in this group so we were a bit puzzled, but we found our own comfy spots amidst them signalling our readiness to join in. Finally someone said with exasperation, “I don’t know – nobody knows. Just read the answer.”

Another student interrupted while looking at us, “No. Read it again. See if they know.”

The student read from a small card, “Who once said, ‘If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door’?”

With all eyes were on us, we looked at one another, had a brief discussion, turned to the student, and said in unison, “Harvey Milk.”

The students were stunned. “How did you know that?” “Where did you learn that?” “Who is he?”

It so happened that our first visitor had stumbled across our deck of “Gay & Lesbian Knowledge Cards.” As she thumbed through them her intrigue led her to call some of her friends and invite them over to our apartment for a trivia game and hot chocolate on that dreary afternoon. Other friends were called and before we knew it our living room was overflowing with students and our hot chocolate was gone.

The deck contains forty-eight cards, two-thirds of which are about famous historical LGBT/queer people. Other cards relate to historical events and LGBT/queer symbols. The majority of the students could only answer two questions concerning the history of the rainbow flag and the upside-down pink triangle; coincidentally we had talked about these symbols only a week before at a GSA meeting.

The back of the trivia card box claims the cards offer “a concise historical reference that is both mind enriching and life enhancing.” This seemed to be true for these students, who went through every card that afternoon while expressing emotions of delight, shock, affirmation, despair, and anger. They were proud when they knew some of the information and surprised at some of what they learned. They were simultaneously happy they were learning more of the ‘truth’ about these historical figures and sad they had never learned it before. They didn’t really talk about these emotions that day but they wore them plainly on their faces and I could hear them in their voices. I recognized their emotions, because I knew them all too well from my own process of discovering LGBT/queer history.

Some of these students’ emotions fuelled a desire to learn more. They borrowed books from our small personal library and got busy doing research on the Internet. With each passing day at least one of them came to me with new information about LGBT/queer history. These students had a hunger to discover who ‘their people’ were. It was as if finding this information was helping them find a piece of themselves they did not even know existed. All of a sudden they had a history, they had people like them who came before them, and they had a culture outside of their GSA at a small college in an isolated town.

They made it their mission to share this information with as many people as they could. That year, the college’s homecoming parade fell on National Coming Out Day, and they used this opportunity to ‘educate’ the local community. They proudly entered their float in the “Back to the Eighties” themed parade. It was a giant closet door swinging wide open and each GSA member wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the name of a famous person who came out in the eighties. They handed out candy attached to small pieces of paper with information about the people on their shirts to parade-goers.

History as a foundation for self-recognition

These students were coming to the same conclusion that Kevin Jennings expresses in a 2001 piece outlining why he believes it is important to celebrate LGBT History Month in schools. He concludes, “knowing our history is a vital part of our liberation” and it is more difficult to develop a sense of pride in our heritage when we grow up learning a history from which we are absent (Jennings). Like my students and I, Jennings had to come to this history on his own; it was not part of the school curriculum he was exposed to. He writes of his own personal process of learning LGBT/queer history and how difficult it was for him to feel connected to it, even once he learned it. What he did learn about contributions of LGBT/queer people seemed remote from his own childhood in North Carolina. He learned of people from ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, the gay liberation movements in 19th century Germany and England, and figures from the U.S. including Alexander Hamilton and Eleanor Roosevelt, but never about anyone from anywhere close to him, or anyone who seemed to be ‘like’ him. His experience runs parallel to that of my students, who certainly did not learn about people who were from places they grew up, or who shared their racial and class identities. Both Jennings and my students attribute much of the isolation they felt as young people to these absences.

A large part of what these cards, books, and Internet sites provided for me, my GSA students, Jennings, and countless other LGBT/queer people were opportunities for self-recognition and invitations out of isolation into a world where there are others like us. “The thrill of discovering that someone like ourselves is gay is an almost giddy experience. In a world without role models, if you never see yourself, you have no idea of who you could become” (Witt, Thomas, and Marcus 8). LGBT/queer youth typically grow up in families with heterosexual parents and must look outside of their families to find adult role models. It is not always easy for LGBT/queer youth to find LGBT/queer adult mentors and some of these adult themselves do not know much about LGBT/queer history. However, it is important for young people to be able to imagine a multitude of possibilities for themselves, and while this type of imagination does not always require a model to base itself in, it is easier to imagine being something you know is possible because someone else like you did it too. So LGBT/queer youth must find ways to access these types of models outside of their own personal circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. These “Gay and Lesbian Knowledge Cards” became the first invitation many of my students had to access this information, spur their imaginations, and recognize themselves.

In Undoing Gender, Judith Butler reminds us that “the thought of a possible life is only an indulgence for those who already know themselves to be possible. For those who are still looking to become possible, possibility is a necessity” (31). This necessity for possibility is evidenced in the creation and use of LGBT/queer history because in looking back we can see what has been, and what has been is one basic hint of what can be. Collections of LGBT/queer history serve to expand norms of recognition, and these norms of recognition are, according to Butler, what make it “possible to persist in one’s own being” (Undoing Gender 31).

In essence, this expansion of norms of recognition is what Jennings refers to in his call for school celebrations of LGBT History Month. He calls for opportunities for students to draw from new norms of recognition[4] so they might begin to imagine possibilities for themselves to persist as LGBT/queer people. GLSEN calls for educators to work to “make the invisible visible” during LGBT History Month (para.2). The organization urges educators to acknowledge the existence of the LGBT/queer people who already show up in standard curricula (like Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, and Oscar Wilde) and claim that knowing about their sexual orientation can help students gain a more complete understanding of their contributions to society.

GLSEN urges educators to include references to LGBT/queer people (like Bayard Rustin, Jane Addams, Lorraine Hansberry, and Benjamin Banneker) whose contributions have historically been excluded from the curriculum because of their sexual orientation and to broaden current social studies lessons to include information about the experiences of LGBT/queer people in relationship to the topic or event being studied. The goal of this type of inclusion is to provide students with a fuller picture of past events and allow them to make connections between those events and current situations. Ultimately this would help students to develop commitments to social consciousness and critical thinking skills, which would be a significant development as opportunities for both are seriously lacking in U.S. schools.

Schools have changed a great deal over the past two decades regarding opportunities for LGBT/queer students to be ‘out and proud’ members of their communities. But the presence of GSAs and the observance of National Coming Out Day, LGBT History Month, and the National Day of Silence hardly signify the complete and seamless inclusion of LGBT/queer people, issues, and events into the everyday curriculum of public schools in the U.S. One of the intended outcomes of these events and clubs was to create spaces for students to find possibilities for themselves. However, this is not always accomplished, so large numbers of LGBT/queer youth are still left to their own devices to learn about LGBT/queer history and, in these circumstances, they seek out alternate resources in their search for evidence of their own possibility.

The print and digital media described earlier represent a large number of these resources.[5] To introduce the various compilations, editors and authors typically take great care to acknowledge the complications associated with creating such lists. They acknowledge the fluidity of sexuality and the limitations of the words – lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight – when it comes to capturing this fluidity. They allude to the evolution of the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian,’ and acknowledge that while these are the words we use today, they are not necessarily the words the people on the lists would themselves choose (or have chosen) to identify themselves. “We ask, then, that you view this as a list of women who have, at some time in their lives, loved other women” (The Lesbian Almanac 37). Ultimately though, these requests are immediately dismissible with a quick glance back at the titles of the lists, which clearly define the people included in the lists as either gay men, lesbians, or bisexual or transgender people.[6]

Regardless of whether or not I remember the caveats at the beginnings of the lists, I can look to them and find a wide range of people represented in these compilations. In fact, I am certain I could find someone who at least partly reflects my own identities, sense of self, struggles, ambitions, and desires. But how would I know that I had found this person? And how would I know that the person I found did actually have experiences parallel to my own? I am uncertain that finding this reflection of myself would ultimately be empowering.

My uncertainty stems from two concerns. One rests on the way entire lives of the people under consideration appear on the page in decontextualized, one-dimensional statements that solidify them as LGBT/queer individuals without acknowledging all that goes with this identity, and how this piece of who they are intersects with their other identities and experiences. Where are the (young) people who are questioning their sexuality to find themselves among this group of LGBT/queer people who appear to be permanently and confidently out? What about the LGBT/queer young people who live in rural locations, do not engage in political activism, or are devout members of religious institutions? There are an infinite number of ways to be LGBT/queer, but the impression given by these lists is that there are a limited number of ways to be good and important LGBT/queer people.[7] For the most part, people represented in the lists are included for their political, activist, or artistic contributions, and the rest of the complexities of their lives are either left out or glossed over. Are LGBT/queer young people only to imagine possible lives as politicians, activists, or artists?

This presentation of significant current and historical LGBT/queer people serves to draw boundaries around what it means to be an LGBT/queer person. Whenever boundaries are drawn, there are always people left on the outside, which is my second concern. The reification of boundaries around the words ‘lesbian,’ ‘gay,’ ‘bisexual,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘woman,’ ‘man,’ and even ‘queer’ is something which I believe is ultimately harmful to LGBT/queer people, as well as non-LGBT/queer people. These boundaries place limits on what is acceptable, and in doing so limit our imaginations. Although I have seen evidence to the contrary, I have also seen LGBT/queer young people take up assimilationist practices that fit into the heteronormative framework, because this is the only option they have ever encountered and all they can imagine.

These compilations of LGBT/queer history usually serve to reinforce heteronormativity because they do not overtly disrupt it by queering the information. In “Imitation and Gender Subordination”, Butler writes:

to write or speak as a lesbian appears a paradoxical appearance of this 'I,' one which feels neither true nor false. For it is a production, usually in response to a request, to come out or write in the name of an identity which, once produced, sometimes functions as a politically efficacious phantasm. (13)

She goes on to say that there are times when she will identify as a lesbian (at political gatherings for example), but her desire is to have it remain "permanently unclear what precisely that sign signifies" (14).

This is exceedingly difficult in the context of legal, political, educational, and social environments where one is expected, even required, to make it clear what the sign signifies. No matter how many times authors and editors remind the audience that the lists are incomplete and every LGBT/queer person has a different experience, the audience can still scroll up or flip back to the title of the assemblage, remember that they are reading about gay men or lesbians and position the people on the pages as LGBT/queer ambassadors whose incomplete stories can teach about the reality of being LGBT/queer people. Just as these textual representations of LGBT/queer people serve as possibilities for self-recognition, they can fail to do so by providing limited representations of LGBT/queer possibilities for LGBT/queer youth to look to in order to find reflections of themselves.

Possibilities Exist

As clear as the limitations of tidbits of LGBT/queer history are to me, I believe it is also important to ask what types of opportunities these tidbits of history are providing, or could potentially provide, to all people but particularly LGBT/queer youth. I see the greatest opportunity in the invitation to use our imaginations to re-think the past, present, and future by critically interrogating the absences and the presences in the LGBT/queer history that is readily available.

Imagination is key to LGBT/queer people since most of us, at some point in time, have had to engage in the process of imagining an existence for ourselves that we did not see in the possibilities surrounding us. If history is presented as fragmented and fractured, it resists a linear and progress-oriented interpretation. It requires readers to draw from their imaginations in order to connect the pieces of history to their present context. Consciously using our imaginations when they are sparked by these pieces of LGBT/queer history can be one approach to the work Jennings, Unks, and Nestle call for. We can imagine opportunities for bringing an end to homophobia and heterosexism (Jennings). We can create new messages that run counter to the harmful ones discussed by Unks. And we can identify new, anti-assimilationist possibilities for connecting us to our collective selves (Nestle). When we are forced to think beyond what we ‘know,’ the possibilities we imagine are multiplied, because of the critical and creative work required by the disconnected pieces.

This is only possible, though, if history is presented in such a way that invites critical thinking and imagination. For this to happen, history cannot be taught as a linear progression of factual events. It cannot be presented from only one perspective. It cannot be a flat, decontextualized project of truth-making. The inclusion of LGBT/queer history must be about more than filling in gaps created by the conscious omissions of LGBT/queer history from the public school curriculum. It must be an interrogation of gaps, of the ways in which gaps are being filled in, and of the gaps that still exist, but remain hidden from view.

In “The Evidence of Experience” Joan Scott challenges us to reframe experience and treat it no longer as the “origin of our explanation” but rather as “that which we want to explain” (797). What if we applied this suggestion to the process of filling in gaps and learning LGBT/queer history? We must see history not simply as a set of experiences (which are the origin of the explanation), but in more complicated relationships with our current context and our ability to imagine our futures. What if learning LGBT/queer history was also about explaining our experiences of learning the history itself? This would have us take into account the ways that learning LGBT/queer history influences our own stories, and allows us to construct and perform our identities in certain ways. I contend that it would serve us well to continually name and grapple with the presence of this experience in our interactions with LGBT/queer history.

I need to practice thinking out loud with the students I work with. Together we need to grapple with questions like, “Why these people?”, “How come this is the information that is included?”, and “What is missing?” Sadly, one of the things schooling robs us of is our desire to continue to ask ‘why’/‘so what’ questions. But these are the questions that promote some of the best critical thinking and allow us to push the boundaries and imagine new possibilities. I know of self-identified queers who are reclaiming or holding onto these questions and using them to push, or blur, existing boundaries. I hope this is what the future holds for LGBT/queer history. Perhaps one way to move in this direction is to consciously remove ourselves from the trap of trivialized tidbits. What if every list had the question “So, what do I really know now that I know this?” scrawled across the top and bottom of each entry?


Notes

1 I use the term 'LGBT/queer' to identify a wide range of people. I use 'LGBT' because lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender are the most commonly used and understood signifiers for people with marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities. While the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender signify fairly well defined and commonly accepted identities, this is not the case for the term 'queer.' Queer is all at once a noun, an adjective, and a verb; an identity, a way of being, and an action. Some have reclaimed queer as a positive identification and use it proudly as a stable identification. Others use it to signify the fluidity of their identity - both in regard to their sexuality and to their gender identity and expression. When I use it in the phrase LGBT/queer, I am invoking all of the meanings, since I am describing a group of people who most likely use it differently themselves. I use the backslash between LGBT and queer to indicate the either/or both/and affiliation people attribute to the identities/ways of being signified by the terms. Ultimately, my goal in using LGBT/queer is to use a term consistently, which signifies a large and varied group of people while still allowing for the term itself to be fluid in its meaning, to reflect the messiness of self and group identifications, and to be a constant reminder that we cannot assume we know what the term itself means to all of the people all of the time. However, there will be times when I use signifiers such as 'gay' or 'lesbian and gay.' When I do so, it is to reflect the historical reference I am making. back

2 In this essay, LGBT/history includes the history of LGBT/queer people, places, events, issues, and symbols in multiple contexts, including the arts, activism, politics, science, philosophy, and other disciplines. back

3 For a sample of such sites see:
LAMBDA. Famous GLB People In History: You're in Good Company! [http://www.lambda.org/famous.htm]. (16 June 2009).
People with a History. People with a History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* History. [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/index.html]. (16 June 2009).
GLBT History Month. October is GLBT History Month. [http://www.glbthistorymonth.com/glbthistorymonth/2008/index.cfm]. (16 June 2009).
Wikipedia. List of Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual People. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gay,_lesbian_or_bisexual_people]. (16 June 2009).
GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture. [http://www.glbtq.com/]. (16 June 2009). back

4 These norms are new because they are finally being acknowledged in the school setting. However, they would not necessarily be considered new to LGBT/queer people outside the confines of school walls. In fact, some might even consider them old given their propensity to focus on assimilationist representations of LGBT/queer people and the heteronormative framings of the representations. back

5 Also see for example, Martin Duberman, Martha Vicinus, and George Jr. Chauncey, eds., Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (New York: Meridian, 1990); Thomas Cowan, Gay Men & Women Who Enriched the World (New Cannan, CT: William Mulvey, Inc., 1988); The Gay Almanac and The Lesbian Almanac, compiled by The Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center of New York; and Paul Russell, The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present (New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1995). back

6 Bisexual and transgender appear less frequently in the titles of these lists. This may be because people who identify as bisexual or transgender are even more disruptive of binary, heteronormative thinking than gay men and lesbian women. It may also be because many gay men and lesbians have excluded them from their communities, claiming that they are not 'truly' gay men or lesbians and therefore need not be included. back

7 One example of the limited representation provided can be found in Out in All Directions. The almanac includes a brief sketch of Dick Hanson, "an openly gay hog farmer" (Witt et al., 63), but the emphasis of his story is on his political activism, not his occupation as a hog farmer or any other aspect of his life. Where is the young LGBT/queer person who wants to grow up to be a hog farmer, but is not interested in politics or activism, to find a role model? back

 

Works Cited

Brown, Michael, and Larry Knopp. “Queering the Map: The Productive Tensions of Colliding Epistemologies.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98/1 (2008): 40-58.

Butler, Judith. “Imitation and Gender Insubordination.” In Diana Fuss, ed. Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories. New York: Routledge, 1991. 13-31.

Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge, 2004.

GLSEN, “Celebrate LGBT History Month in Your School.” In GLSEN website (October, 2004.) [http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/1718.html]. (30 Apr 2006).

Kevin Jennings, “Why We Need A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month” In GLSEN website, (October 2001.) [http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/255.html]. (30 Apr 2006).

MacGillivray, Ian K. Sexual Orientation & School Policy: A Practical Guide for Teachers, Administrators, and Community Activists. MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2004.
Nestle, Joan. “Voices from Lesbian Herstory.” The Body Politic 96 (1983): 35-36.

Scott, Joan W. “The Evidence of Experience.” Critical Inquiry 17 (Summer 1991): 773-797.

Unks, Gerald. “Thinking About the Gay Teen.” In Antonia Darder, Marta Baltodano and Rodolfo D. Torres, eds. The Critical Pedagogy Reader. New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2003. 322-330.

Witt, Lynn, Sherry Thomas, and Eric Marcus, eds. Out in All Directions: The Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1995.




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