This week, as part of our ongoing reading as we prepare for our own research with LGBTQ families, we looked at a 2011 Swedish study (Schmitt & Gustavson 2011) that examined the experiences of children with LGBTQ parents in schools.
The article brought up some words used to describe LGBTQ families and children from these families. The authors use the terms “queer spawn” and “rainbow family” to describe children from LGBTQ families, and LGBTQ families, respectively. The authors mention that among their research participants, some had difficulty with these terms or with negotiations on who can claim these terms. They ask, are children born in heterosexual relationships but raised in LGBTQ relationships “queer spawn”? “Who can claim to be a rainbow family?” (Schmitt & Gustavson 2011, p. 163).
In terms of their research findings, Schmitt and Gustavson identified several instances in which their research participants reported “dis-recognition” (p. 171) as a form of oppression by educators. As a result, they argue that “schools fail to include children and young people with LGBTQ parents in the classroom and school yard” (p. 175).
Will our own findings match those of these researchers in Sweden? Only time will tell. In any case, reading about similar studies in geographically distant places will help us see how the Ontario context is similar or different.
For further reading:
Schmitt, I., & Gustavson, M. (2011). Culturally queer, silenced in school? Children with LGBTQ parents and the everyday politics of/in community and school. Lambda Nordica. Tidskrift För Homo/lesbisk/bi/transforskning, 16(2-3), 159–187.