Being a Part of LGBTQ!: From the Perspective of a Gay Undergraduate

Posted On 3/10/2019 11:19:00 PM, 0Comments

This is an interview with a gay university student. His personality will be kept confidential. All permission given by him was done through a consent form. The interviewer and the interviewee have a copy of the consent form.

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?

- I’m Bu─čra. I’m 18 years old and will be 19 years old this year. I came out to my friend as a bisexual but gayer boy when we were 16 years old or younger.

  • In Turkey, what do people do or say (or not do or say) if they want to be seen as gay (lesbian) (straight)?

- It is easy to be seen as gay. To be seen as gay, you should express your enjoyment in life in public, and you should have more female friends more than male friends. You do not have to do or say anything further.

  • How is this different in another country? How is it similar?

- Most of the European countries have made a law that allows same-sex marriage. It is absolutely easier to be LGBTQI+ member in such countries. Because homophobic people know what will happen to them if they hurt anyone who is a member of LGBTQI+

  • Why do people sometimes want to be seen as straight (bisexual) (lesbian)? Why do they sometimes not want to?

- Like my situation, most of us were threatened by our families to be kicked out of the whole family. Who does not want to conceal it either knows that they are supported b their families or already kicked out of the family at a very young age? So they have no fear to be “labeled” as persona-non-grata.

  • Is it easy to identify someone as gay (straight) (lesbian)? Why or why not?

- I’m a bit of Gaydar myself that means a person who can identify people if they are gay or not. To understand if a person is gay or not, search their phones to find some apps that just programmed for gays. In any cases, you can’t be sure if they are gay or not unless they reveal it.

  • In Turkey/your university, which gender identities seem natural or acceptable? Which do not? How can you tell?

- My university is Sakarya University and as far as I know, it is more conservative. So, every gender except male and female aren’t welcome by society. As far as I see, some of the people of my university have liberal thoughts. They respect us even if they aren’t one of us.

  • After people move from Turkey, do they change how they think about gender identities? If so, how? If not, why not?

- Some of them change ‘their’ minds. The reason for this is they had to conceal their thoughts because of the environment. I meant those don't belong them, those minds belong to other people who run the society by quoting ‘their’. To talk about the people who don’t change their minds are really bad people (about homophobic people) because every part of the world is the same for them. They always think that every part of the world is the same as theirs.

  • How about when foreigners move to Turkey?

- If a gay moves into, they have to conceal their thoughts. Most of the people who are residents in Turkey are homophobic. If they reveal their thoughts, they might be discriminated.

  • How safe do you think your university or your province for LGBT students? How do you know?

- It isn’t safe at all. I know both my university and Sakarya are conservative.

  • What do you think to be an ally to LGBT students mean?

- As far as I understand the question, if there was an LGBTIQ+ group that consists of ‘really gay and not just curious’ that would be great.

  • Who can be an ally in your university or province?

- I have some friends that know my situation and I have a boy in my life who is boyfriend-to-be. I can’t tell their names in the name of privacy.

  • What are some examples of things people can do to demonstrate being an ally in our school?

- To be an ally to us, you should just make us feel that you are safe and respectful.

A Brief Reflection on the Webinar 2: Gender Equality in Education

Posted On 3/3/2019 5:28:00 PM, 1Comments

          Gender equality is a political concept that emphasizes having the same equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities between genders in all areas of life such as work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. There are lots of movements around the world to raise awareness to gender equality and some of them are #HeForShe initiated by the United Nations (UN), #Metoo used by the American social activist Tarana Burke, and #Timesup by the Hollywood celebrities.

              The third webinar was about gender (in)equality in education. The outline of the webinar was followed: key terms about gender equality, how gender equality is promoted in a classroom context, and gender representations in textbooks, and suggestions for teachers in terms of materials and interaction in the classroom to achieve gender equality in education.

               I’ve learned two important key terms such as gender socialization and gender bias thanks to this webinar. Most people might talk about gender equality or inequality in the society but first, they need to know actually what the significant terms used in those kinds of discussions. It might show how you know the topic wisely.

            Achieving gender equality in the teaching process might be a challenging task for teachers because there are many various parent types and school managers you might encounter. Some parents and school managers are so conservative that they do not let the students know what kind of hot issues in schools due to their perceptions, beliefs, cultures, or their background experience. However, teachers might apply the hidden curriculum in their classes. There some sources/textbooks emphasizing gender equality. One of them is “Paper Bag Princess”. It might be useful for young learners to raise awareness of gender equality by discussing the story as a whole class.

             Gender equality has been a global issue for many years. Even though there are many movements to stop gender equality in society, the issue still keeps going to be one of the hot issues in today’s world. Teachers have a challenging task to apply methods for supporting gender equality in education against parents and school managers. Now I have more knowledge about what gender equality means and how I can achieve it in my lectures in detail. I will keep gender equality in my teaching and learning experience throughout life. Furthermore, I believe I am able to transfer comfortably what I have learned from those webinars to my friends, teachers, students, and colleagues in the future.



Coursebook Evaluation on Social Justice

Posted On 2/7/2019 9:10:00 PM, 2Comments

Textbooks are the main materials used in the classrooms to teach any field in education. Learners mostly get the necessary information from those materials by following up the themes in them. Thus, what is written in those is fundamental for the learners throughout the learning process. Any information written ought to be authentic and fair for each learner. If the government provides its citizens with social justice, it should cover the field of education, as well. The contents of the textbooks used in the schools must be checked in case there is any topic which reflects some inequality or injustice in the textbooks.

There are many topics such as nature, greetings, cultures, sports, festivals, and climate in the books and those topics need to be told authentically. For example, a course book, called Enterprise 3 by Express Publishing, is used as an additional source in an English class. The course book level is pre-intermediate and it is the 3rd edition. In the 22nd unit of the course book, on page 99, the writing section consists of listening about some inventors and their inventions. The students are asked to fill the blanks in the table and write their own projects about those inventors and their inventions. When the students look at the table, they see that all the inventors are males e.g. Galileo, A. Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Karl Benz, and the Wright brothers. Why did the course book not contain any female inventor like Marie Curie, inventor of the theory of radioactivity to the table? Students need to know both female and male inventors, not only males. They also need to learn women may become what they want, an inventor or a scientist because those pictures provide the students to perceive the models or the roles of the people in the society. Thus, they should be designed well and the content of the course book should be fair for both female and male learners.