Using a Queer of Color Critique to work toward a Black LGBTQ+ inclusive K-12 curriculum

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To date six states (Oregon, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and New Jersey) have adopted legislation that amends curricular standards to include affirming representations of LGBTQ+ people and identities in schools. Nonetheless, the legislation falls short of clarifying what constitutes an LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum. Thus, the decision of what to teach is left up to individual districts, schools, and, in many cases, individual teachers who rely on their own interpretations of “positive representation” to adhere to new mandates. In recognizing the negative schooling experiences of Black LGBTQ+ youth, the fact that informal LGBTQ+ curriculum often centers whiteness, and the lack of clarity around what constitutes LGBTQ+ inclusive curricula, in this article I draw on Queer of Color Critique (QOCC) to analyze the practices of ballroom educators and present their approaches to curriculum as a guide to designing LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum that responds to the realities of Black LGBTQ+ youth. As a framework, QOCC requires researchers to: (a) explore the resilience of queer people of color and their communities as they navigate oppression, (b) rely on the experiential knowledge of queer people of color as a primary source of knowledge production, and (c) examine how queer people of color use their agency to defy the constraints of queer of color marginalization.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-125
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • inclusive curriculum
  • black
  • LGBTQ+
  • queer of color critique


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