Across the country, battles are being fought about the exposure of young people to LGBTQ+ representation in schools. Some schools have Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and other activities, so that all young people are represented and engaged. Other schools argue that this is harmful to young people, and expressly ban books, topics and discussions that represent the LGBTQ+ community. Shouldn’t schools represent all types of young people and family structures? What happens when they do not? How is the health and welfare of young people impacted by identity politics? Join us for a talk with David Boyles as we examine together the history of the representation of the LGBTQ+ community from the 1970’s to the present in the media and popular culture, and consider the politization of conversations in the classroom. How can we learn to acknowledge the identity of LGBTQ+ youth and have meaningful conversations across political divides?
This program is part of the Representation Matters series hosted by Arizona Humanities. This event is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the A More Perfect Union Initiative.
David Boyles (pronouns: he/they) teaches writing and rhetoric at Arizona State University, where they also developed the Discovery Seminar course, “Speaking OUT: LGBTQ+ Youth in Pop Culture and Politics.” They are co-founder and president of Drag Story Hour Arizona and were honored for their contributions to the Phoenix LGBTQ+ community with the 2022 Phoenix Pride John Bircumshaw Community Spirit Award. They are also the author of the recently published Young Adult novel Life is a Banquet.