LJ Slovin

Non-binary youth navigating their relationship to schooling
Lisa Loutzenheiser
United States

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

When I made the decision to apply to graduate school, for both my MA and my PhD, I did so to seek the time, space, and mentorship to think and learn about ideas and issues that were present and intriguing in my professional work and activism.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I came to UBC to be part of the Faculty of Education and have the opportunity to work with my supervisor.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I like to swim in the ocean and get out of town on my bicycle.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take your time and be curious.


Learn more about LJ's research

Since transgender and queer youth defy the dominant gender and sexuality norms that operate in North American schools, they often face challenges regarding their safety and success in formal educational spaces. Although schools are starting to address this issue, they frequently overlook non-binary youth. Non-binary youth, who do not identify as either boys or girls, work especially hard to navigate diverse contexts because their identities resist stable categories of gender (boy/girl) and sexuality (gay/straight). This study seeks to understand the complexity of non-binary youths’ experiences in schools by asking: how do non-binary youth navigate their relationships with teachers, peers, extra-curricular activities, policies, and the curriculum? I aim to move beyond documenting the multiple obstacles students encounter in order to consider what can become possible when schools and teachers welcome youth’s incoherence, ambiguity, and fluidity.