A new project led by Queen’s Professor of Education Lee Airton and Common Law’s Professor Kyle Kirkup was featured today at a national press conference presided over by Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan. The project looks at how Ontario's newest human rights terms – gender identity and gender expressions – are being interpreted by school boards across the province.
The press conference, which took place this morning at Queen’s University, served as an opportunity for Minister Duncan to announce the latest funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Professors Airton and Kirkup are among the recipients of funding from the Insight Development Grants Program, which enables the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas. Professor Airton is the Primary Applicant on the project, while Professor Kirkup is a Co-Applicant.
The funded project, entitled Gender expression under construction: How school boards are shaping Ontario's newest human rights category, examines how anti-discrimination protections in Ontario affect the experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming students. To date, there has been little research on how Ontario (or Canadian) institutions are understanding, interpreting and shaping "gender expression" protections. The proposed research aims to fill this gap.
“Dr. Kirkup and I are discovering how school boards are creating answers through their daily practices,” said Professor Airton. “It’s needed because gender is changing, and the future of gender is walking into Canadian schools every day, and schools are now legally required to offer a welcome: not a correction or a blind eye.”
Congratulations to Professor Airton and Professor Kirkup on receiving this funding and recognition. The Faculty of Law is thrilled to see important research celebrated and supported this way!
In addition to this project, four other members of the Faculty of Law, Common Law’s Professor Florian Martin-Bariteau, Professor Wolfgang Alschner, and Professor João Velloso, and Civil Law’s Professor Jennifer Quaid also received Insight Development Grants.