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These findings demonstrate that students are aware of how an LGBTQ+ LLC may
attract unwanted attention from people who believe that this space and LGBTQ+
students do not belong on their campuses. Practitioners must create spaces in which
LGBTQ+ students can decide how visible they'd like to be and have access to the
same resources and opportunities as all students, and they should ensure that these
spaces are safe and comfortable. These findings also highlight why gender-inclusive
housing options are important for any students who may be uncomfortable with
the traditionally heterogendered nature of college residential settings (Nicolazzo et al.,
2018; Pryor & Hoffman, 2020). Practitioners should consider the implications of gender
in matching roommates and selecting buildings with such features as multiple
bathing options.
Finally, outside of creating an LGBTQ+ LLC, a few policy implications are present
for residential life, in general. Nguyen and colleagues (2020) discussed the significance
of gender identity and antidiscrimination policies, as well as LGBTQ+-inclusive
housing options.
While some campuses have antidiscrimination policies in place to protect students
marginalized on the basis of gender and/or sexual orientation, other affirming
institutional policies such as LGBTQ+ housing are needed to more fully support
LGBTQ+ students and their lives on campus. (p. 41)
Thus, the findings of this study, particularly regarding sense of belonging and safety
concerns, support the need for LGBTQ+-affirmative and inclusive policies that allow
students to safely navigate common practices such as roommate selection and to be
able to select housing that aligns with their needs and preferences.
CONCLUSION
Recognizing opportunities for LLCs to enhance the LGBTQ+ residential experience on
college and university campuses, this study examined potential elements that leaders
may consider when designing such an LLC. As practitioners embark on developing
LGBTQ+ LLCs and other LLCs for marginalized populations of students, it is important
to center student voices and perspectives by asking what students want and/or
need. Mindful that projects of this scope may entail budgetary or staffing constraints,
the findings will help practitioners consider the feasibility of such an endeavor and
strategies for accomplishing value-added outcomes. Of particular importance in designing
LGBTQ+ LLCs is the extent to which spaces create a sense of safety, promote
productive relationships among residents, and validate students through a sense of
belonging. Moreover, the characteristics that residential life leaders should incorporate
Practitioners must create spaces in which LGBTQ+ students can decide
how visible they'd like to be and have access to the same resources
and opportunities as all students, and they should ensure that these spaces
are safe and comfortable.
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