UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

To be safe and included : SOGI 1 2 3 and the (re)production of the acceptable queer subject Srivastava, Shannon


Beginning in 2013, ARC Foundation collaborated with B.C.’s Ministry of Education, the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Education, as well as many community organizations and partners in the province to create a program and resource that would endeavour to make schools more inclusive of and safe for students of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations; they named it ‘SOGI 1 2 3.’ Although the program received considerable media and public attention in its initial implementation years (either in the form of right-wing conservatives opposing it or staunch liberals advocating for the protection of 2SLGBTQ+ human rights), the program itself has not been critically analyzed from a queer, feminist, and anti-racist perspective—a dearth in academic research that this thesis hopes to address. Employing a Foucauldian analysis of power relations, this thesis considers what kind of subject SOGI 1 2 3 seeks to produce, through what kinds of discursive practices, and with what effects. Through subjecting the program to critical discourse analysis, two key discursive threads emerge: that of safe spaces and inclusion & diversity. I ultimately argue that, in deploying such discourses SOGI 1 2 3 elevates a white, out, and homonational subject within queer spaces and within the Canadian national imaginary. Consequently, racially and sexually perverse subjects who are deemed illegible within the eyes of the nation and euro-western sexual standards are marginalized, or excluded entirely from queer and national spaces. Drawing upon scholarship from queer, feminist, and critical race theory, my analysis aims to highlight how sexual, racial, and colonial power relations can be, and are, discursively reproduced and reified by 2SLGBTQ+ programs and organizations in Canada, like SOGI 1 2 3—programs that are often left unexamined amidst the rise of transphobic and homophobic hatred and violence within Canada and globally. This analysis aims to encourage or remind scholars and activists not to accept a neoliberal and national politics of inclusion, but to dream more expansively and radically about the possibilities for a queer(er) future.

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