Homophobia in the Hallways: Heterosexism and Transphobia in Canadian Catholic Schools

Homophobia in the Hallways: Heterosexism and Transphobia in Canadian Catholic Schools

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By Tonya D. Callaghan

CW: homophobia, harassment, suicide

Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures equality regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in Canada. Despite this, gay, lesbian, and gender-nonconforming teachers in publicly-funded Catholic schools in Ontario and Alberta are being fired for living lives that Church leaders claim run contrary to Catholic doctrine about non-heterosexuality; meanwhile, requests from students to establish Gay/Straight Alliances are often denied.

In Homophobia in the Hallways, Tonya D. Callaghan interrogates institutionalized homophobia and transphobia in the publicly-funded Catholic school systems of Ontario and Alberta. Featuring twenty interviews with students and teachers who have faced overt discrimination in Catholic schools, the book blends theoretical inquiry and real-world case study, making Callaghan's study a unique insight into religiously-inspired heterosexism and genderism. She uncovers the causes and effects of the long-standing disconnect between Canadian Catholic schools and the Charter by comparing the treatment of and attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer teachers and students in these publicly-funded systems.