Books First Person

How I Let Queer Literature Come Out to my Middle School Students for Me

Middle school is weird. It was awkward as hell when I was a hormonal, monstrous, uncertain twelve-year-old, and only slightly less so when I went back to teach English. So when I found myself, a 23-year-old rookie teacher, standing in a cafeteria fielding a question about how lesbian sex works from a seventh grader, I can’t say I had any right to be surprised.

Youth + Family

Carrying Heavy Shit: Teaching and Unteaching Gender in the Wilderness

“There’s an easily accessible narrative in wilderness travel, to pretend we’re living outside of society, and to strive to create a better version of it. The temptation to argue that “x doesn’t really matter out here” rears its head in all of the usual places: race, socioeconomics, gender, age. What I’ve come to struggle with in the canoe, and years later, is which way to go. To continue my first argument, to dismantle gender, or to teach gender – to teach what it means to be a strong, dirty woman, to ask my co-instructor to teach positive masculinity.”