In this article, Steven Athanases describes the responses of a multiethnic class of tenth graders to a lesson dealing with gay and lesbian experiences. The teacher of a course entitled "The Ethnic Experience in Literature" chose to introduce her class to Brian McNaught's essay "Dear Anita: Late Night Thoughts of an Irish Catholic Homosexual." Athanases describes the teacher's goals for the course, her curriculum, and student activities to support her goals. He then describes how the lesson itself unfolded, analyzing the essay that introduced the issue and the students' responses to it. Athanases shows how a careful selection of text, a classroom climate that welcomes thoughtful discussion of diversity, and sensitive treatment of gay and lesbian concerns can deepen students' understanding about identities and oppression, which, in the context of an ethnic literature curriculum, can help students develop a deeper understanding of the common ground that oppressed groups divided by difference share.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.