chapter  13
14 Pages

Threatening space: (physical) education and homophobic body work

ByGILL CLARKE

This chapter explores how space(s) shape pupils’ and teachers’ sexual identities in physical education. In doing so it reveals how spaces are not neutral, but shot through with power such that bodies are schooled along narrow and often homophobic lines. Spaces thus are also gendered, racialised, sexed and (hetero)- sexualised such that some locations become hostile places for lesbian women and gay men. Although queer activists1 have begun to reclaim the largely heterosexual landscape and to extend the boundaries of sexual citizenship, schools in England and Wales largely remain sites of compulsory heterosexuality, where few have dared to cross the (hetero)sexual boundaries.