Recent attention to youth suicides and violence framed as “bullying” has triggered a range of responses by schools and the state. In this article we locate and analyze the “gay wins” most noted in education, including the recent moves to establish gay-inclusive anti-bullying laws and policies, within a larger social justice framework to map contradictions. In particular, we question the efficacy of anti-bullying laws and ask how this initiative can mask the sources of punishing heteronormativity in schools and communities and potentially distract educators and others from identifying and addressing structural conditions that foster interpersonal forms of violence. We close by suggesting how and why a “queer” vision pushes those invested in LGBT lives to move beyond “equality” (or assimilation) as a goal for social justice struggles.

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