The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) will be holding a webinar on the evening of January 25th about how educators can teach the book GenderQueer, a highly controversial and frequently challenged book.
The special webinar will share "pedagogical approaches for engaging with Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer in classrooms, libraries, and communities."
According to the NCTE webinar registration page, "Members of NCTE’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee will be part of a panel of experts leading the conversation with author Maia Kobabe and discussing the value of the text as a whole. Each panelist has expertise in queer and trans pedagogies in schools and teacher education and will bring their extensive experience to the conversation."
Guest panelists include:
The NCTE's LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee promotes a wide range of so-called "inclusive" policies such as avoiding the use of "gendered language" and practices that divide students by sex. It seems to view opposition to such policies as "homophobia" or "transphobia" which NCTE argues is an act of oppression.
The book, GenderQueer, has been widely challenged across the country for graphic illustrations depicting full frontal nudity, obscene sexual activities and more.
Here's a summary of the book:
"An autobiography that charts a girl's journey of self-identity, including the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fan-fiction. References “include pedophilia, sex between an adult female (trans-male) and minor female (trans-male), with entries chronicling — in explicit detail — sexual encounters between males, a minor girl, and an adult female."RatedBooks.org Book Summary
NCTE, which was started in 1911, describes itself as "the leading partner in giving educators a voice as the educational landscape changes and the needs of teachers from preK through college evolve."
Its mission has remained unchanged since 1990.
Though NCTE did publish a position statement on August 29, 2022, that claimed the dominant language of school is "rooted in an uncritical and almost universal acceptance of white, Eurocentric norms" and subtly suggested this could lead to "oppressing" certain voices that do not use the "habits of white language.”
It also posted another position statement from a constituent group that claimed transphobia and queer-phobia are "inherent to white supremacy."
"Queer of color, trans of color, and crip scholars have proven that dominant conceptions of gender and sexuality were built on and built for white supremacy and have been used to exclude, dehumanize, and persecute Black, Indigenous, and other people of color regardless of gender identity and/or sexual orientation (Leonardo and Porter; Pritchard, “For Colored Kids”; Chavez; Martin and Battles; Kearl; Patterson and Hsu; Driskill)."NCTE
Sure makes you wonder if there are any associations for English teachers who aren't down with the progressive "oppressors versus the oppressed" narrative, doesn't it?