Cardiff Metropolitan University
We are getting there slowly - Lesbian teacher identities in the post section 28.pdf (613.93 kB)

‘We are getting there slowly’: lesbian teacher experiences in the post-Section 28 environment

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-04-26, 13:03 authored by Lisa Edwards, David BrownDavid Brown, Lauren Smith

 Prior to the subtraction of Section 28 from the 1988 Local Government Act in 2003, a substantial amount of research was published that specifically examined the experiences of lesbian physical education (PE) teachers. This article contributes to the existing academic literature by exploring the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual teachers working in a post-Section 28 school environment. Drawing on life history interviews of two lesbian PE teachers, we offer insights into how the abolition of Section 28 has affected their lives. Comparable to previous studies, both women reported feeling fearful of the consequences of identifying as lesbian and employed various strategies in order to maintain a divide between their public and private lives so as to conceal their sexual identities from colleagues, pupils and parents. However, in contrast to much of the previous literature, we found that the teachers in this study also identified with narratives of resistance. Despite being fearful of coming out at work, they nevertheless remained committed to coming out when the context is appropriate, to challenging the heteronormative symbolic order configured around the heterosexual/homosexual binary and to more proactively promoting sexual diversity and tolerance in schools. 


Published in

Sport, Education and Society


Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Edwards, L., Brown, D. and Smith, L. (2014), ‘We are getting there slowly’: lesbian teacher experiences in the post-Section 28 environment. Sport, Education & Society, 21(3), pp. 299-318

Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Lisa Edwards David Brown

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Philosophy and Ethics in Sport
  • Qualitative Research Methods and Social Theory

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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