The School-to-Coffin Pipeline

Written from the perspectives of a tenured high school teacher/researcher, an out bisexual sophomore, and a transgender senior, this article discusses the challenges of being and becoming an out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) student in a large, Midwestern high school. Through counternarratives, the authors explore what they call the school-to-coffin pipeline, a system that (un)intentionally positions LGBTQ teens in what has become a horrific, yet normalized, epidemic of queer youth suicide. The authors use the framework of this pipeline to examine what it means to live with/in the in-between of school rhetoric and a dearth of enacted school policy that could literally be life-saving for queer youth. Through an examination of the everyday challenges queer youth encounter, the authors argue that all adults involved in schooling - including teachers, teacher educators, administrators, counselors, and school psychologist - are necessarily (un)knowing participants in the school-to-coffin pipeline, contributing to institutional homophobia and, by extension, LGBTQ youth suicide. The authors argue that by attending to the school-to-coffin pipeline, those who contribute to it can begin to interrupt the current, and possibly continuing, cycle of self-inflicted violence on queer youth bodies.



Work Title The School-to-Coffin Pipeline
Subtitle Queer Youth, Suicide, and Living the In-Between
Open Access
  1. Boni Wozolek
  2. Lindsey Wootton
  3. Aaron Demlow
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Publication Date October 1, 2017
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited July 21, 2021




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added School-to-Coffin_Pipeline_Official.pdf
  • Added Creator Boni Wozolek
  • Added Creator Lindsey Wootton
  • Added Creator Aaron Demlow
  • Published
  • Updated
  • Updated
  • Updated