Queer Reading for the Classroom: The Portrayal of Gay Male Characters in Young Adult Fiction 1969 - 2007

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There are an increasing number of novels for young adults with homosexual characters and/or themes. This study seeks to examine the portrayal of gay male characters in these novels for young adults, to explore how the portrayal of these characters has changed over time and if so, how this coincides with changes in societal attitudes towards homosexuality. These novels have the potential to combat homophobia and heterosexist attitudes in schools, when incorporated into the curriculum, enhancing a whole school approach to promoting a positive sexuality. Schools are places where many of societies values are taught and reinforced. The presumption of heterosexuality is very much encoded into the fabric of western society and is reinforced and validated in schools.


Keywords: Sexuality, Youth, Australia
Stream: Gender and Sexuality
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


David Rhodes

Ph D Student/ teacher, University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, Australia

I am a high school teacher of History and English in Sydney at an Independent High School, where I have worked for the past 5 years. I am also completing a PhD in Education at the University of Sydney in Australia. I am interested in the incorportation of a diverse range of texts into the classroom and in developing an educational environment that challenges and informs students. My interests include reading fiction and historical novels and non-fiction history.

Ref: D08P0220