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K-State Today

December 4, 2013



'Alternative Language(s) of Attraction and Gender' presentation at Emporia State University

By Jo Foy

An interactive presentation, "Alternative Languages of Attraction and Gender," will be presented at Emporia State University on Thursday, Dec. 5. Sponsored by The Teachers College Recruitment and Retention Committee, this presentation will be offered at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in 118 Visser Hall and at 2 p.m. in 312 Visser Hall. Students, faculty, staff and administrators have been invited to participate in one or more sessions.

Kansas State University's Jo Foy will discuss how heteronormativity drives an important assumption we make about our students: we assume that every student is either male or female and that she or he will be attracted to members of the opposite sex.

According to Foy, we consider this "normal" in 21st century American schools. For many students, these are accurate assumptions. But this definition of normality does not apply to all students. If we intend to serve all students in our classrooms, we need to consider that some will be queer or questioning. In this presentation, queer refers to any person who is presenting or expressing themselves outside the gender binary or who does not follow the assumption of opposite sex attraction. In this interactive workshop participants will work in groups to learn the language of gender beyond the binary. In addition, we will learn new words that describe sexual attraction and sexual identity outside the heteronorms.

Foy is a doctoral candidate in curriculum instruction at K-State. Foy's research interests include multicultural education, critical theory, critical pedagogy, K-12 teacher education, sexual minority issues in American public education, the intersection between sexuality and religiosity, mathematics education and mixed methods research methodology.