Date of Award

Spring 6-21-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Jerry McGuire, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anne Grey, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Marty A. Bullis, Ph.D.


The thrust of this qualitative study was to research, reveal, explore, and understand the lived experiences of self-identifying lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) public school educators through formal, qualitative interviews. The researcher interviewed six self-identifying LGBTQ public school teachers using a phenomenological framework, braced by history, queer theory/criticism, and intersectionality. In-depth, rich, and prolonged semi-structured interviews yielded personal, candid, and poignant insight from the six co-researchers. Further, by using a narrative approach, this phenomenological study revealed five emergent themes and discussed how these interpenetrating themes captured the essence of these six teachers’ lived experiences. The five salient themes revealed that self-identifying LGBTQ public school teachers want to maintain meaningful relationships with their students, experience fear (in terms of both being rejected by and losing relationships with students), struggle with the decision to self-disclose their sexual orientations at work, and need to feel safe and affirmed at work through safe spaces and district inclusivity.

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