Educational leadership, like many other areas of research, has recurring habits of thought (Gronn, 2003; Kelly, 2008; Niesche, 2013). In some ways, this can be highly productive, but it is also limiting as it draws boundaries around scholarship, and it is sometimes hard to shift those boundaries. Like Rasmussen and Allen (2014), I believe ‘queer concepts have an important role to play in places where, at first glance, they appear to have no place or purchase’. I subsequently wish to unsettle the educational leadership field by cross-fertilising it with theory from Judith Butler, a well-known queer theorist.