© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. `Difficult¿ or potentially discomforting diversity topics and critical, unsettling pedagogies often induce resistances or charges of `irrelevance¿ in teacher education contexts. In teaching with these topics and pedagogies, there is often a significant emphasis on fostering and utilising the process of empathy in productive ways to change attitudes and reduce social injustices. Drawing on a selection of illustrative accounts from three qualitative studies in schools in Ireland, interwoven with media commentary and some personal catalytic reflections, this paper explores (a) how an emphasis on empathy is not without its limits and restrictive effects in teacher education and (b) the generative possibilities yielded by situating empathy within a queer pedagogy of emotion. This paper¿s close attention to and illustration of the limits of empathy within the context of teaching about gender and sexuality diversity opens a new consideration of empathy within a queer pedagogy of emotion and considers the broader potential of this for teaching about diversity in teacher education. Ultimately, this paper advances an argument for a constant watchfulness about how we are responding to diversity dilemmas in teacher education on the premise that such attention can yield new pedagogical imaginaries and possibilities.