The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 102

Matthew Antonio Bosch

their homes in residence halls, since students
posing threats would know exactly where they
could locate that live-in professional.

LGBTQ+ Identities as Strengths
not Deficits
Prior studies have acknowledged that organizations and educational institutions tend to
operate from a deficit model regarding people
with marginalized identities, whereby their
diversities are seen as problems to fix rather
than strengths (Harry & Klingner, 2007; Smit,
2012; Solorzano & Yosso, 2001; Yosso, 2005).
Professionals in this study further confirmed
this tendency of deficit-thinking and instead
posited several strengths for departments to
consider.
One such strength emerged as professionals used their LGBTQ+ identities as lenses
to detect patterns of similar mistreatment
in students and other professionals as well
as devised ways to showcase the strengths of
people coming to campus from different ethnicities, gender identities, abilities, and class
statuses. Jeff expressed how this strength has
flourished:
I think because I am queer, it's allowed me to
see how many people of color are treated on
this campus and in the world: trans people
of color, people who are differently abled,
people from different socioeconomic statuses,
like just all these different social locations. I
think queerness, like if you identify as queer,
like your eyes are now open to these different
experiences.
Participants also shared that many successful lifelong professionals in higher education
had roots in housing and residence life. They
knew how these role models transformed their
institutions while advancing LGBTQ+ inclu102

sion. Therefore, LGBTQ+ professionals provided additional strength to the profession as
ongoing advocates for continued institutional
improvement regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Through the eyes of the participants, others
see a world where LGBTQ+ identities are
viewed not as deficits, but as strengths.

IMPLICATIONS
Analyzing the responses from these LGBTQ+
professionals, many considerations and recommendations emerged for housing and
residence life colleagues and departments.
From this study, seven key implications for
leadership and future practice emerged for
housing and residence life professionals.
These include providing explicit information
on benefits; strengthening an inclusive hiring
process to avoid assumed heterosexuality;
specific language around relationships and
live-in partners; acknowledging the fluidity of
gender pronouns and identity terms across a
professional's career; addressing threats and
bias incidents; honoring LGBTQ+ identities
as strengths instead of deficits; and serving
as stronger advocates of LGBTQ+ inclusion
across the larger institution.
Departments should be explicit about amenities and benefits for partners and spouses,
especially for live-in positions. Not only does
this help individual employees feel valued, but
this also serves as a broader signal that the
overall department cultivates a culture that
honors more than one style of relationship or
family. In this study, professionals appreciated
being made aware of these benefits even before
coming out to the interview team. They interpreted this messaging as a sign that LGBTQ+
families are welcome.

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



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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