When we began this version of Beyond Bullying—all online, with students and teachers mostly working from home—we didn’t know how it would go. Would students feel comfortable sharing their reflections on LGBTQ2S+ sexuality and gender? Would teachers help us get the word out to the school community? What role would social media play in our recruitment?
We are still sorting through these questions, but one thing we know already —none of this would be possible without the support and enthusiasm of our student ambassadors. They advised us on our recruitment strategies, offered feedback for story prompts, endorsed the project in their classes and on their social media, and showed up for us in so many big and small ways. You know who you are—thank you!
A huge thanks as well to the key teachers and administrators who gave us a home in each school—you invited us to council meetings, put us in touch with student leaders, gave us feedback, let us interview you, and made us feel welcome in your community. We can’t wait to share back our findings and help support your efforts to make your school a model for the inclusion of gender and sexuality diversity.
I need to extend one more thanks. For the past two years, the Beyond Bullying Project has been supported by a collaborative, evolving, multi- generational group of faculty, researchers, web designers, and graduate and undergraduate students. One of the real pleasures of research is the opportunity to work with and learn from emerging scholars. Thanks to all those who have given their time, labour, and creativity to this project. Congratulations team on this huge milestone!
A particular thanks goes out to Dr. David Pereira, the inaugural York University Faculty of Education Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender, Sexuality, and Education. David has been the glue of Beyond Bullying 2.0. We could not have brought this iteration of the project to fruition without his leadership. Thank you David.
As we begin to work with the wealth of stories shared with us, we are pleased to feature blog posts from the University of Toronto Jackman Scholars-in-Residence
that worked with us throughout May. Drawing on their own experiences and the lives of young people in high school, these blog posts offer provocative and funny and touching takes on the ever changing landscape of gender and sexuality for racialized youth. Follow us here and on social media
to learn about the white washing of gay TikTok, the challenges of coming out in high school, and the importance of embracing ambiguity. We’ll also learn how to spot a bisexual and ways of claiming, and loving, your cotton candy softness.