The understanding of queer theory, today has gone beyond the simple terms of gays, lesbians or any other person viewed to be different to include new meanings and applications. Scholars and educators disapprove the misunderstanding that queer is a synonym for gay and lesbian and has improved queer theory to become more than just gay and lesbian studies. The queer theory goes beyond this and explores more facts on the assumptions about relationships, identity, gender and sexual orientation. It seeks to become apparent on generalizations and barriers that exist between man/woman, masculine/feminine, student/teacher and gay/straight categories. Queer theory studies tend to liberate educators and create classrooms that are inclusive of diversity and socially just (Dean Pp 98).
Any School in every corner of the world is governed by various norms and beliefs from the communities around them. It is also influenced by the larger population of students and teachers in the school. A majority of new students from different schools having different religious beliefs and from different settings find it hard to fit in the new schools. Most of the time, they undergo bullying and harassment in line with their beliefs or against the indigenous beliefs. For example, most homosexuals are always harassed by their homophobic counterparts who believe heteronormativity is the only sexual orientation. Students targeted for harassment in most schools have shown increased feeling of depression and low self-esteem and are always at high risk of abusing drugs (Dean, pp 98).
Traditional heterosexual roles also have an enormous influence on reinforcing and maintaining harmful power dynamics in schools and society. The invisible nature of the way femininity and masculinity are taught to children contributes to their strength. For example, telling a female student to be more feminine to avoid harassment and discrimination at school hurt their feelings. It is not always right to force someone to be more feminine when they already believe they are females. Most homophobic students also get it rough when they are told to get over everything when they report cases of homosexuality to their teachers. It is odd to them to fit in and affect their performance and stay in the school (Dean , Pp 98).
Heteronormativity has gained influence through psychological research, religious ideologies and political and financing privileges of heterosexual and monogamous family structures. The society, therefore, has always treated homosexuality as an illness, a deviance and a sin. The discourse has been challenged by gay right movements, but many social, political and historical forces have continued to demonize it (Dean Pp 98).
Queer theory has emerged to enlighten students to be open minded . Moreover, the leaders of queer theory challenge students to be independent thinkers and to ask critical questions that can improve their understanding. The theory also challenges teachers to see schooling as a place to examine, explore and seek alternative understanding rather than a place where knowledge means a certainty, authority and stability. Therefore, by establishing the independence of students, the theory tends to open up more educational possibilities and socially just experiences for future generation. Queer theory must be applied to remove the current obstacles that prevent teachers from teaching passionately and connecting with their students in meaningful ways (Dean , Pp 98).
Dean, James J. Straights: Heterosexuality in Post-Closeted Culture. , 4(2014): Pp 98.