Background: Mainstream media is increasingly reporting on the relationships between Catholic and trans identities in parochial schools, particularly with regard to gendered washroom use. With greater numbers of trans youth coming out at younger ages, significant educational policy changes are being considered around how Catholic schools can or should include trans youth. Method: This study applies trans and queer theologies to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) in investigating the Wilson case, which was the first known instance of a Catholic school including some affirming policy provisions for trans youth. The authors additionally collected and coded 12 news articles from a variety of platforms to discern and discuss the theological arguments in the public square against more fulsome trans student inclusion in Catholic schools. Results: The authors found two related theological arguments against full inclusion, namely the notion that (1) Gender is God-given and therefore cannot be chosen or changed, and (2) That transgressive bodies are not sacred parts of the divine gender plan. Conclusion: Trans theology allowed the authors to disrupt both of the theological claims advanced by the Catholic educators quoted in the Wilson case. This created rich, imaginative space in which to reconsider the relationships between Catholic and trans identities, namely by not arranging them in a binary. Significance for policy-making in parochial schools is discussed.
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Herriot, L., & Callaghan, T. D. (2019). Possibilities for Trans-Affirming Policy Potential: A Case Study of a Canadian Catholic School. Journal of Catholic Education. https://doi.org/10.15365/joce.2203042019
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