Performing a Queer Youth of Colour Dialogue: A Curricular Intervention 

Key Terms: queer people of color; applied drama pedagogy; race, gender, and sexuality in education; ontoepistemology 

Lead: Dirk J. Rodricks, PhD

About the Project

I am engaging QTBIPOC artist(s) to take my award-winning dissertation research and make it appreciable to diverse publics and particularly those within the K-12 sector through a curricular intervention. Part one is a performance piece and part two is a study guide that applies the performance piece to the K-12 curriculum across Canada. My research focused on Queer Desi/South Asian young adults as they understand and negotiate their identities in a “multicultural” city like Toronto. It was a mixed methods project and included a community scan/survey, life story narrative interviews, almost 20 hours of applied drama work, and “time-pass” (literally means spending time with kin). As a curricular intervention, it is important that Queer Youth of Colour stories be told through a variety of media. Performance is an effective tool for both young people and educators to examine the challenges and possibilities of queer racialized joy. Simultaneously, when scaffolded with a study guide, it can offer a structural understanding. It is not simply of a relational understanding between those that identify as Queer Youth of Colour and those who do not. It is also, as the data suggests, about their relationship with the environment, and with Blackness (recognized but without demonstrated action) and Indigeneity (missing entirely). And so, while it is about pain of being unseen, erased, marginalized, it is also about imagining a better, different world – a futurity that is still worth fighting for, living for, learning for, loving for. This aspiration of futurities and the agency to imagine is at the heart of my dissertation project and will form the core of the curricular intervention. Positioned to work with K-12 educators, the focus of the intervention will be minoritized young adults and how they individually and collectively challenge and subvert dominant notions of what it means to thrive and be whole, a key ambition of the Flourish Research Collective.

The FLOURISH Collective is supported in part by funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund,
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the University of Toronto Connaught Fund