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"Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools:" A Review

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get the freak homophobia transphobia

The Bottom Line

The book, Get That Freak, paints a clear picture of how teens experience homophobia and transphobia in high schools everyday. Based on existing research, as well as on 16 interviews with GLBT teens, Get That Freak explores the impact of heterosexism, and harassment and bullying of gay youth.

Pros

  • Addresses a crucial issue while giving teens a chance to share their experiences.
  • The stories told by teens will be familiar to a lot of GLBT youth.
  • Exposes how even "liberal" societies can allow intolerance.

Cons

  • Original research was done with a relatively small group (16 youth).
  • Some younger readers may not be used to the academic style of the book.
  • Non-Canadian readers may not connect with the teens' experiences as closely as Canadian readers.

Description

  • Get That Freak looks at the experiences of GLBT teens in school in Canada.
  • It asks why many still experience bullying and harassment in a country where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2002.
  • The book then explores the effects of homophobic and transphobic bullying on students.
  • Throughout the book, teens share intimate experiences of both support and harassment.
  • Teens' own stories are used to illustrate research findings.

Guide Review - "Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools:" A Review

Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools is a book by Canadian authors, Rebecca Haskell and Brian Burtch.

It addresses many important issues surrounding the GLBT experience in schools including:

  • How the bullied often turn around and become the bullies.
  • How boys suffer greater consequences than girls for perceived gender "transgressions" (basically not acting "masculine" enough).
  • How a teacher's assumption that all students are straight alienates GLBT kids.
  • How girls tend to be more "subtle" in their bullying than boys.
  • How being closeted can result in kids who are quiet and withdrawn or conversely sexually active with members of the opposite sex, often unsafely, as a "cover."
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