Queer Inclusion and Allyship in the Turkish ELT Sphere

Coleman E. S.

in: Teaching Pride Forward: Building LGBTQ+ Allyship in English Language Teaching, Ethan Trinth,Kate Mastruserio Reynolds,James Coda, Editor, TESOL Press, Virginia, pp.77-89, 2024

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Publisher: TESOL Press
  • City: Virginia
  • Page Numbers: pp.77-89
  • Editors: Ethan Trinth,Kate Mastruserio Reynolds,James Coda, Editor
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


This chapter explores how I have drawn on concepts of intersectionality to de-other LGBTQ+. persons in the English language teaching (ELT) environment. Working with English learners at the A1–B2 levels on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages who are studying primarily in medical faculties and university personnel, I have attempted to foster an understanding of the normalcy of queerness and de-other LGBTQ+ persons by speaking publicly about the harm of heteronormativity in order to generate allies in my communities of practice. This chapter explains the Turkish social context and how heteronormativity dominates there, my personal position as an educator in this context, and diversity, equity, and inclusion–related training given in tertiary institutions in Türkiye with the aim of enhancing allyship. Forbes and Ueno (2020) found that “allyship is not fixed but can vary within a marginalized population, having different meanings for different people” (p. 173). Reason and Broido (2005) noted that to be an ally, one must be aware of one’s dominant position and the impact it has on the minoritized group (p. 82). Further, Reason and Broido established three key “ally actions”: educating and inspiring members of the dominant group, bringing about cultural and institutional change, and supporting members of the minority group (pp. 83–85). Therefore, in this chapter, I work from the following concept of allyship: supporting minority rights while not being a member of that particular minority group. In this context, allyship pertains to the efforts of heterosexual cisgender (non-trans) learners and educational professionals to support the needs and inclusion of queer, transgender, and gender-queer learners and colleagues. Allyship here is considered an active process in which the ally takes action to effect change or offer support, rather than merely stating that they support a minority. For further definitions of terms used in this chapter, please see the terminology section at the end of the chapter.