This essay examines the production of Native queer childhood in nineteenth- and twentieth-century boarding schools. I argue that the schools produced “sexual orphanings” in Native children, which was achieved through education and abuse that queered Native children's conceptualizations of gender, sexuality, and kinship and produced shame. Sexual orphanings queered children away from their bodies and sexualities, which also worked to orient them away from the future. I turn to Tomson Highway's Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998) to consider what erotics might remain for these children and to look at how genocidal sexual orphanings might be recalibrated in Native fiction toward survivance rather than disappearance.
Mary Zaborskis; Sexual Orphanings. GLQ 1 October 2016; 22 (4): 605–628. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-3603114
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