Embodying LGBTQ+ Safety An Ethnographic Exploration of safe spaces and how different actors and environments can embody a safe space by diving into high school Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).
Torres Torres, Cecile
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Navigating the unsafe space of Dutch high schools, teachers and students have collaboratively created safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students, known as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs). These GSAs usually have meetings once a week and focus on being a safe space for students to learn more about their gender, sexuality, and overall identity. In addition, many also have an activist focus, where they have the additional goal of a more accepting and inclusive high school environment. This thesis is the output of a three-month field research period within high schools in the cities of Breda and Tilburg, arguing that LGBTQ+ students within high school Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) experience feeling unsafe in their school environment. In addition, this thesis shows how LGBTQ+ students navigate the unsafe school environment and how safety is embodied by different places and people. Beyond the academic world, this thesis tries to incent a debate in the Dutch education system and local governments on inclusion and exclusion within high schools, and the importance of safety, especially for minority students.
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