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Exploring Homophobia and Transphobia in Primary Schools

Project Description
This study entitled ‘Exploring Homophobia and Transphobia in Primary Schools’ sought to open up a conversation about the current shape of Irish primary schools with regard to gender and sexuality identity, beginning with the perspectives and experiences of school leaders, teachers and parents. Six schools and a total of 46 people took part. This included six school leaders, twelve teachers and 28 parents The key findings are as follows: 1. Addressing homophobia/transphobia and educating around gender and sexuality identity happened in an ad hoc and mostly reactive manner. 2. School leaders and teachers were central in schools’ approaches. 3. Dialogue unravelled ‘childhood innocence’ and yielded the potential for an incremental, holistic education about gender and sexuality identity. 4. Assumptions and uncertainties about religious ethos reproduced silences and posed challenges across all school types. 5. Accounts from several schools revealed norms and practices that did not cater for all children equally. For more detail, the report is available here:

Principal Investigator
Aoife Neary PhD

Sandra Irwin-Gowran; Eileen McEvoy 

External Partner
Gay and Lesbian Equality Network of Ireland

Grant Source
Irish Research Council: New Foundations Engaging Civic Society Strand