This research offers an analysis of the experiences of twenty people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) and who are teachers within their professional lives. It aims to illustrate the ways in which the continuing (re)production of heteronormative discursive practices impacts upon their lives both within the private and the professional realm. The research deploys a two-tier methodological framework in order to gain insights into the lives of LGBT teachers, an often invisible social group. The research is underpinned by a theoretical framework which draws upon poststructuralist feminist/queer theories but which also is data, rather than theory, driven. School is the major site of analysis within this thesis and participants’ reflections upon their own school days are put under the lens as well as the way in which they experience schools as teachers. As this research is concerned with the intersections between participants’ private and professional lives it also offers an analysis of the process of becoming (Phelan, 1993), of the notion that one does not possess an inherent LGB identity, rather this is something one achieves through the recognition and adoption of certain social, cultural and aesthetic cues. The way in which LGB identities constitute an ‘invisible presence’ within schools is also explored throughout the thesis. The thesis addresses a gap in the literature on the experiences of LGB teachers and sheds new light on the ways in which location, community and subjectivity can impact upon the experiences of this social group.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/emily_gray/1/