Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Wayne Martino


This thesis examines youth’s engagement with gender fluidity or variance through their observations of gender expression. It draws on feminist, queer and transgender theories to highlight important issues about the impact of gender binaries and regulation of gender expression on youth in secondary schools. A qualitative methodological approach was adopted. Purposive sampling was used to select a group of students interested in talking about gender variance in one secondary school in South Western Ontario. Data collection included focus group interviews, individual interviews, writing responses, and drawing responses. The research found that students ranged in their negotiations of gender binaries from resistance to acceptance. Students articulated their ideological position through a reflection on stories about embodied gender and gender regulatory practices. The research contributes to a necessary ongoing discourse about gender variance in schools. It encourages student voice and asks for educational policy to include a competency about gender variance.



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