University Of Tasmania
131399 - Homonormativity and celebrating diversity.pdf (252.94 kB)

Homonormativity and celebrating diversity: Australian school staff involvement in gay-straight alliances

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 01:47 authored by Ruby GrantRuby Grant, Kim BeasyKim Beasy, Bianca ColemanBianca Coleman
With the growing acceptance and normalisation of same-sex attraction in the West, scholars from a range of fields have documented a ‘post-gay’ shift, or a decline in the significance of sexual identity labels among youth. Despite this shift, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) youth continue to experience discrimination and harassment, particularly in schools. In this context, this article examines the role of student gay-straight alliances (GSA) or ‘diversity groups’ in Australian schools. Most research on GSAs focuses on student experiences in the North American context. In contrast, this article provides a unique exploration of teachers and staff involvement in school GSAs in Tasmania, Australia. Drawing on qualitative interviews with teachers and staff, this article examines staff perceptions and involvement in GSAs and the impact this may have on GSA function and success. Through thematic analysis, we identify three common situations: active GSAs, inactive GSAs, and singular event-based initiatives. We argue that neoliberal and homonormative understandings of LGBTIQ-inclusion permeate staff approaches to facilitating GSAs and impact on the potential for these groups to undertake the critical political work needed to bring about change in school contexts.


Publication title

International Journal of Inclusive Education










School of Social Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an original manuscript/preprint of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Inclusive Education on 11 March 2019, available online:

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Equity and access to education; Gender aspects in education

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