Organizations “for” disabled people tend to provide insufficient information about
lesbianism, and lesbian groups are ill prepared to deal with disability issues.
E. How Does This Relate to Children?
The concepts illustrated in the preceding sections do not apply solely to adults.
Oppression is learned and transmitted from one generation to the next. Children of color learn
their race and the role assigned to them because of it.
86 Children learn acceptable gender roles,
as well as the privilege associated with maleness.
87 Children learn about poverty and what is
expected of children with and without financial security.
88 Children learn about ableism at a
young age, including roles that society assigns to persons with disabilities.
89 Children learn about
heterosexism and compulsory heterosexuality at an early age.
90 Children learn about how these
ways of difference intersect with each other and where they fall in the matrix of oppression. The
cage is made ready for the hatchling.
These considerations influence how children relate to each other, to adults, and to
92 Also, these considerations influence how children mature into adulthood and how they,
in turn, parent.
93 The intervention of oppression directed at children strikes at the root of
oppression and makes its transmission to future generations more difficult.
II. TAKING ACTION: SAFETY, PLACEMENT, REUNIFICATION, AND PERMANENCE
The four differences are not guarantees of living life in a certain way. They are, at most,
predictors, albeit powerful predictors. Though not all youth with similar attributes will have
identical life experiences, similar attributes make similar experiences more likely. Professionals
who work with LGBTQ youth in state care—who face greater challenges than their non-LGBTQ
peers95—must attend to different backgrounds of those youth. Those different backgrounds
provide the basis for asking questions about how to best match services with strengths and threats
at all stages of a child welfare case’s life cycle (but do not provide the basis for drawing before-
85 Appleby, supra note 84, at 77.
86 BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM, “WHY ARE ALL THE BLACK KIDS SITTING TOGETHER IN THE CAFETERIA?” AND OTHER
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE 31– 74 (1997).
87 See, e.g., Mayes, supra note 2, at 645-47 (discussing Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999)).
88 See generally JONATHAN KOZOL, SAVAGE INEQUALITIES: CHILDREN IN AMERICA’S SCHOOLS (1991) (discussing
multiple income-based inequities in American education); JAY MACLEOD, AIN’T NO MAKIN’ IT: ASPIRATIONS &
ATTAINMENT IN A LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORHOOD (2d ed. 1995) (longitudinal study of youth in a low-income
neighborhood, finding limited opportunities and low social expectations).
89 See generally BETTY B. OSMAN & HENRIETTE BLINDER, NO ONE TO PLAY WITH: THE SOCIAL SIDE OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES (1982) (discussing the social difficulties associated with being a child with a disability).
90 Mayes, supra note 2, at 668.
91 MARILYN FRYE, Oppression, in THE POLITICS OF REALITY: ESSAYS IN FEMINIST THEORY 1, 2–14 (1983).
92 See supra notes 86–91.
93 MACLEOD, supra note 88 (describing the social reproduction of class roles and expectations in poor-to-working
94 Hirschfeld, supra note 2, at 637–38.