In Sweden, as elsewhere, schools are inherently gender and sex-segregating and sex-re_producing spaces. Formally, schools and teachers are compelled to create environments that are conducive to learning for all students. While activists are working to introduce feminist, queer and norm-critical pedagogies into schools, and tentatively into teacher educations, researchers and activists agree that schools and teachers are often unprepared. “Such issues” are often relegated to the social and cultural only, rather than seen as the fields of knowledge production they are.
How do trans* and intersex young people negotiate their understandings of self with normative, nationally coded demands in schools? What kinds of support do they experience as useful or would they have expected to find?
With this study, I will analyze young trans* and intersex peoples’ narratives of school experiences in Sweden. I aim to contribute to the growing field of trans*_intersex studies in Sweden and to local and international trans*, intersex and queer-feminist education research. Honoring work by trans* and intersex activists and researchers, and methods developed by feminist and anti-racist researchers, the project will begin with a consultation phase with trans* and intersex activists, educators, researchers and research ethics specialists in order to develop a methodology for this project so that it can be productive of knowledges beyond objectifying research traditions that many trans* and intersex people experience.
With this study, I am also reflecting about the seeming universality of the terminology of trans* and intersex. I want to acknowledge the work done by racialized queers and trans* and intersex people/ people of colour in Sweden. At the same time, I note the mounting frustration with the persistent whiteness and racism in queer communities and question Eurocentric genealogies of theorizing bodies and identities, in a society informed by both internal and external colonialism and migration.
Funding: This project is funded by the Swedish Science Council, D0238701, 2 797 000 SEK “Unga transpersoners erfarenheter i skolan”