'Let's see if it won't go away by itself'. LGBT microaggressions among teachers in South Africa
CITATION: Francis, D. A. & Reygan, F. 2016. 'Let's see if it won't go away by itself'. LGBT microaggressions among teachers in South Africa. Education as Change, 20(3):180–201, doi:10.17159/1947-9417/2016/1124.
The original publication is available at https://upjournals.co.za/index.php/EAC
We explored types and qualities of microaggressions or subtle forms of discrimination towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people among teachers in South Africa. For data collection, we used in-depth interviews. Twenty-five Life Orientation teachers, nine men and 16 women, from both rural and urban schools throughout the Free State Province participated. Our findings suggest heterosexism as well as subtle and sometimes harder to pin down forms of bias – microaggressions ‒ are experienced in these contexts. Given the educational policy shifts on LGBT rights in South Africa, we argue that microaggressions need to be clearly located in the larger macro context of systemic heterosexism which pervades schools and the teaching of sexuality education in South Africa. We conclude with implications for teaching and support interventions to make schools more LGBT inclusive.