Straight Matters: Sexual Minorities and the Heterosexual Majority

March 13, 2012 - 3:55am

Vancouver Island University, Positive Space Alliance is hosting two noted authorities 5 pm, Wednesday, March 21 for a discussion of issues surrounding the implications of having a sexual orientation that is either in the minority or majority of society.

Dr. Gloria Filax, Athabasca University, and Dr. Gerald Walton, Lakehead University, will use media images as they examine being "straight" and the benefits that flow from this status as well as the impact of being a member of a sexual minority (gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender).

The session in the Nanaimo campus Library (Room 507) will be engaging for an academic as well as a community audience. The public, including youth, is welcome to the free event. Donations to the Positive Space student bursary are appreciated. A reception will follow the speakers.

Filax teaches graduate courses including a course on gender and sexuality at Athabasca University. She has written about homophobia, heteronormativity, and queer theory for edited books, journals, and her book Queer Youth in the Province of the ‘Severely Normal’.

She has written about a queer pedagogy of popular culture and “queering the last best west” as a way of including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people into classrooms, mainstream communities, and historical narratives about the Canadian west.

Walton is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University who is also a survivor of ongoing bullying in school and religious "ex-gay" programs.

In addition to publishing his research on homophobic bullying in academic journals and edited collections, he teaches about gender and sexuality diversity in his courses for pre-service teachers and graduate students.

He has worked with several school boards on developing policies specific to queer youth and has given several interviews on radio shows such as the Bill Good Show and the now defunct Christy Clark Show. Currently, he is editing a collection called The Gay Agenda: Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice which will be published by Peter Lang Publishing in 2013.

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