The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 101

Experiences of LGBTQ+ Housing Professionals

Given the self-sustaining amenities of
many residence halls, LGBTQ+ professionals need to locate outlets outside of residence
halls. Xavier expressed how the process of
unplugging from campus and engaging with
community ultimately enhanced their mental
health and the sustainability of their role as
a LGBTQ+ professional in housing and residence life:
There was a two weeks to a month span
where I hadn't left campus because you don't
have to when you live on. Your office is on
campus, your residence hall is on campus,
your dining facility is on campus. After that
month, I realized that my mental health was
not well. So, I started just everyday walking
to the coffee shop that was off-campus and
building a relationship with people who
weren't 18 to 22. That was really great for
my mental health, just like encountering
somebody being a part of the community that
I lived in. That's something I will say has kind
of sustained me in these jobs, really trying
to think of yourself as a part of the larger
community, not just the campus community.

Written and Verbal Threats
LGBTQ+ professionals in this study experienced written condemnations and verbal
threats to their jobs, livelihoods, and personal
safety because of their sexual identities. These
threats often arose in response to judicial sanctions, as was the case for Sam (he/him), a midlevel professional working in Georgia:
I was adjudicating a case, something minor.
He ended up getting disciplinary probation
or a reflective essay. The next day, my boss
comes over, "Hey, I got this letter from a
student." He got a two-page letter saying
how dare a state university make him meet

LGBTQ+ professionals in this study
experienced written condemnations
and verbal threats to their jobs,
livelihoods, and personal safety
because of their sexual identities.

with an ingrate... a homosexual. It was totally
homophobic. Did it leave a big, big scar? No,
because I go back to the resilience thing. You
have to really, truly hurt me to really make a
huge effect on me.
While Sam experienced a written condemnation sent to his supervisor, some LGBTQ+
professionals received verbal death threats, as
was the case for Reed (he/him), a mid-level
professional working in Massachusetts:
I received death threats, and they talked about
sodomizing me pretty graphically and then
killing me. I filed a police report. I remember
doing conduct at the time, and there was a
particular student I knew was upset because
I found them responsible for alcohol. I caught
them in a lie, so they got upset, and I just
thought it was probably them.
While threats were often linked with outcomes from residential judicial cases, professionals also expressed being given police
escorts because of credible threats made to
them, some of which following educational
trainings where they disclosed their LGBTQ+
identities. Professionals were shocked that
such threats could be made by students, even
in educational spaces, among a group of
their peers. This left LGBTQ+ professionals
very cautious and nervous about returning to
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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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