Brockenbrough, E. (2011). Agency and abjection in the closet: the voices (and silences) of black queer male teachers. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(6), 1-25.
While black queer educators could conceivably play a critical role in disrupting black queer marginality in educational settings, relatively little is known about their experiences. Drawing upon findings from a broader qualitative study on black male teachers in an urban school district in the United States, this article explores how five black queer male educators negotiated pressures to keep their queerness ‘in the closet.’ Although remaining in the closet left these men vulnerable to homophobic surveillance, it also enabled them to demonstrate racially mediated forms of agency within school settings. By complicating constructions of the closet as an abject social positionality for queer educators, this article considers the possible affordances of the closet for black queer teachers while also underscoring the need for institutionally sanctioned interventions against homophobia in urban educational settings.
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