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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how to incorporate a popular television series about being trans*gender into the secondary English Language Arts curriculum. The authors conduct a series of two-hour interviews with the creative and writing teams of the popular television show, Transparent, and examine how to incorporate this material in the English Language Arts classroom along with their combined 16 years of teaching experience. The paper discusses how to incorporate fuse writing assignments and literature activities with adolescents in order to educate young adults about the experiences of being trans*gender as well transform teaching practices as they relate to trans* students. As the population of trans*gender students continues to increase, the implications for this research cannot be overstated. The paper concludes with recommendations for how ELA teachers can address issues of gender and sexuality in their secondary classrooms.

Author Biography

Joe Sweet is a PhD student at Arizona State University whose research interests include pedagogies of gender equity in secondary English language arts, qualitative inquiry, masculinities and art curriculum. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, Joe served as a secondary English and theatre teacher for nine years. He holds a BA and MA in dramatic arts from U.C. Santa Barbara and an MA in English education from C.U.N.Y. Hunter College.

David Lee Carlson is an associate professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He conducts research in secondary English education, Queer Studies in education, and Qualitative Inquiry.

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