Sexual and gender diversity in schools: Belonging, in/exclusion and the African child
The school system in South Africa has only in recent years begun to more deeply grapple with issues of power and privilege along a number of axes of oppression including race, gender, class and recently, sexual and gender diversity. As a result, learners who embody sexual and gender diversity experiences spaces of belonging and exclusion in school settings. As a result, this paper asks: What needs to be done in the school system to reconstruct the “African child” to include sexual and gender diversity? Possibilities include inclusive policy implementation; inclusive learning and teaching resource materials; teacher preparedness to teach about and affirm sexual and gender diversity in the classroom and a clear rejection of homophobic and transphobic violence. The lessons learnt through the process of challenging racism in the school system – such as around essentialising, othering and systemic violence – have yet to be fully applied to sexual and gender diversity in schools.