Date of Award
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of lesbian and gay Georgia middle school teachers in not disclosing their sexual identities with their students. Using a narrative inquiry, data were collected through in-depth individual interviews and a focus group discussion on the following areas of inquiry: What are the experiences of lesbian and gay Georgia middle school teachers who do not disclose their sexual identity with their students? How, if at all, do the experiences of nondisclosure inhibit their abilities as teachers? How, if at all, has the nondisclosure affected their personal lives? Ten self-identified lesbian and gay teachers participated in this study: five Caucasian females, two Caucasian males, two Hispanic females, and one African American female. Participants ranged in age from thirty-four to fifty-five. All the teachers were employed full-time at a middle school in the metro-Atlanta, Georgia area. Findings were presented in a narrative form using the participants’ voices. Three themes emerged 1) managing dual identities, (2) partaking in identity management strategies, and (3) desiring to serve as openly gay role models to their students. All three of the emerged themes were interpreted through the lens of the social identity theory, which connects to the overall concept of gay teacher development. A more accurate understanding of these experiences would allow educators, administrators, and other educational faculty members to proceed from an informed perspective and appreciate the importance of allowing homosexual teachers to be free to develop and live an authentic identity, as well as be able to teach through an authentic lens.
Number of Pages
Keilwitz, Heather Ann, "The Teacher's Closet: A Narrative Inquiry of Dual Identities of Lesbian and Gay Middle School Teachers in Georgia" (2016). Educational Studies Dissertations. 10.
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