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Elizabethe C. Payne
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Elizabethe C. Payne, PhD, is Director of QuERI -- The Queering Education Research Institute© and an associate professor of Education, part-time, at Syracuse University, Cultural Foundations of Education department. As a sociologist of education, she specializes in qualitative research methodology, critical theory, youth culture and LGBTQ issues in education. Her current research explores education professionals’ experiences working with transgender elementary school students, the effectiveness of LGBTQ professional development for educators, and adolescent lesbian/queer girls’ experiences with the gender binary. Dr. Payne serves on the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Task Force, and the Dignity for All Students Act State Policy Group. DASA is the New York State student anti-harassment law which went into effect July 2012 and July 2013. She was a high school English teacher in Houston, Texas before returning to graduate school for her doctoral work. Information about QuERI is available at

Entries by Elizabethe C. Payne

Rethinking LGBTQ Bullying

(7) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 2:05 PM

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. There have been countless PSAs, Facebook posts, and news articles about bullying awareness; suggestions for children's books and lesson plans that will teach children to be "nice"; and recommendations for intervention circulating all month. Despite the vast number and sources of these bullying awareness...

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School Administrators: Getting Them Onboard Is Key to Change for LGBTQ Students

(10) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 4:54 PM

We at QuERI are often asked what we would change in order to make schools more supportive for LGBTQ students and families. That list, frankly, is really long. Changing schools is not an easy thing and there is no magic program or quick fix. But it is important...

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LGBTQ Students, Schools and Pride: Not There Yet

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 2:47 PM

As we celebrate Pride month, it is important to think about how the strides we have made for LGBTQ civil rights vary not only across the country, but across various areas of U.S. life and culture. In the field of education, we have indeed made some progress but we have...

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Popularity, Heterosexism and Girls' School Success

(9) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 4:01 PM

Popularity in middle and high school operates as a heterosexist reward system. Who "fits in" and who does not has a great deal to do with heterosexuality and gender conformity, which makes it difficult for LGBTQ kids to engage in the school social scene. For adolescents, school is...

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Beyond 'Gay Day' Approaches to LGBTQ Inclusion in Schools

(7) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 4:38 PM

As schools have become more diverse in recent decades, the field of education has looked for ways to prepare educators to work with diverse student populations and to bring recognition of socially marginalized identities into school life and curriculum. This area of practice is often called "multicultural education." With the...

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'Slut': Gender Policing As Bullying Ritual

(116) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 12:24 PM

We at QuERI often ask LGBTQ kids to list for us the "bad names" that they get called in school spaces, hear others called and see scrawled across bathroom walls and on lockers. Those derogatory terms are, by vast majority, terms that police gender: words like "fag," but...

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LGBTQ-Inclusive School Cultures: What's Policy Got to Do With It?

(10) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 5:58 PM

Recently we published a blog addressing educator reactions to the presence of transgender children in elementary schools. In that piece we posited that school districts could reduce educator anxiety about supporting and accommodating transgender students if they proactively implemented policies directly addressing the needs of transgender students. We...

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Elementary Schools, Transgender Kids, and Educator Freak-outs

(262) Comments | Posted August 31, 2012 | 5:05 PM

For seasoned education professionals who have "seen it all," the new school year usually brings little cause for alarm. But for the past few years, we at QuERI have had an increasing number of elementary schools contact us in the beginning of the school year with reports that...

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Start Early: Addressing Gender-Based Bullying in Elementary School

(9) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 2:01 PM

Kids learn the gender rules very young, and elementary schools are key sites for the construction and affirmation of culturally patterned gender relations. They learn that biological sex, gender, and sexuality are interrelated pieces of who we are and how we see the world, and they quickly learn that there...

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Bullying Works!

(7) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 5:43 PM

To understand the persistence of anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment, we need to recognize that anti-LGBTQ bias is deeply entrenched in middle and high school kids' social hierarchies. Youth construct and maintain social categories -- who is popular and who is definitively not -- through the language they use. Students establish...

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What Do We Know About Young People's Attitudes Toward Difference and Toward LGBTQ or Gender-Nonconforming Youth?

(4) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 11:34 AM

What do we know about young people's attitudes toward difference and toward LGBTQ or gender-nonconforming youth?

This commonly asked question reflects a belief that youth who target LGBTQ peers or who use homophobic language do so because they are intolerant of LGBTQ identities or they lack empathy for the experiences...

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Shifting the Focus From Individual Bullies and Victims to School "Culture"

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 5:09 PM

In the United States, the last two years have brought a rapid increase in public attention to the longstanding problem of LGBTQ students' harassment in schools and to the common solutions proposed to address it. This first posting from The Queering Education Research Institute (QuERI) addresses what we see as...

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