WHEN RESPONSIBILITY ENTERED THE ROOM: INTERROGATING THE SILENCE IN CHRISTIANS’ LIFE NARRATIVES
This paper identifies some of the methodological considerations involved in narrative research with conservative faith groups, while addressing the things left unsaid through an exploration of silence in the author’s own life narrative of faith and sexuality. The challenges posed by silence – temporal silence and concealment – require greater focus in narrative research methods. Moreover, the pervasive and palpable effects of silence in sexuality research with (nominally) Evangelical Christians calls into question what we (can) know about sexuality in conservative faith communities using qualitative research methods.
THE AFTERMATH OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTIONS: GENDER IDENTITY, GENDER EXPRESSION, AND THE SOCIO-LEGAL REGULATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS
K. Kirkup; L. Airton; A. McMillan; and J. DesRochers
Between 2002 and 2017, Canadian lawmakers sought to redress the pervasive levels of discrimination, harassment, and violence experienced by transgender and/or non-binary people by adding the terms “gender identity” and/or “gender expression” to federal, provincial, and territorial human rights instruments. This paper tracks the complex, iterative ways in which antidiscrimination protections are brought to life outside courts and tribunals. Using Ontario’s publicly-funded English language secular school boards as a case study, we examine how the introduction of explicit human rights protections on the basis of “gender identity” and “gender expression” in 2012 worked to produce a series of responses across the education sector. Given that “gender identity” and “gender expression” remain legally undefined terms in the Ontario Human Rights Code, and only provisionally defined by Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) policy, we argue that school boards constitute important actors engaged in constructing the meanings of these terms in policy and practice. In decentering courts and tribunals in our analysis, we aim to uncover the everyday practices of parallel norm-making taking place in the education context. These everyday practices shape how we collectively understand the meaning of “gender identity” and “gender expression.” By carefully tracking these post-legislative developments, which rarely make their way into reported decisions, we suggest that human rights law reforms might open up space for the emergence of norms that allow people to do gender in a variety of ways.
WHAT IS "GENDER EXPRESSION"?
L. Airton; K. Kirkup; A. McMillan; and J. DesRochers
In 2002, jurisdictions across Canada began adding two new protected grounds to their human rights laws: gender identity and/or gender expression. Gender identity protections generally apply only to transgender people, whereas gender expression protections may apply to all Canadians in places like K–12 schools. However, it remains legally unclear what kind of action, utterance, or pattern constitutes gender expression discrimination, and who can access related protections. In search of clarification, this article explores how the meaning of gender expression is being constructed within policy documents (N = 206) authored at the level of Ontario’s English public secular school boards.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX (AND FAITH)
When sexual health education conflicts with socially conservative faiths and worldviews, educators can find themselves caught in the middle. Is there a way for public schools to provide an inclusive, comprehensive, and consent-based sexuality and health curriculum while remaining sensitive to the diverse beliefs and values of families?