The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 95

Experiences of LGBTQ+ Housing Professionals

Participants met several criteria,
including identifying as openly
LGBTQ+ within their current staff
positions and possessing five
or more years of professional
experience in higher education.

terms, phrases, feelings, and topics linking
multiple participants' experiences. This style
of analysis allows researchers to determine
patterns and categories that can be compared,
contrasted, or highlighted as salient across
and between participants (Corbin & Strauss,
2007; Maxwell, 2013).
Open coding involves the exploration of
etic and emic categories. Etic categories involve
preset coding where the researcher pre-determines categories or phrases which may appear
jargonistic by nature such as "microaggression" or "exclusion," whereas emic categories involve terminology for how participants
openly describe their experiences such as "homophobic" or "treated differently." Pairing this
emergent coding with preset coding provides
a fuller picture of participants' experiences,
since participants may not use the same language to describe a concept that the researcher
is investigating (Ravitch & Carl, 2015).
Participants met several criteria, including
identifying as openly LGBTQ+ within their
current staff positions and possessing five
or more years of professional experience in
higher education. Participants were gathered
through their responses to social media post-

ings for the study as well as through professional associations including the American
College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
Collectively, the 10 participants spanned
nine states and identified themselves with
three sets of gender pronouns (she/her, he/
him, they/them); four labels for gender identity (female, male, nonbinary, queer); four
labels for racial identity (White, Black, Multiracial, Asian/Pacific Islander); and six labels
for sexual orientations (lesbian, gay, bisexual,
pansexual, queer, asexual). Entry-level professionals included residence directors and area
coordinators, often with five to eight years of
experience. Mid-level professionals included
assistant directors, associate directors, and directors, often with 8 to 15 years of experience.
Senior-level professionals included deans and
above with 15 or more years of experience. Demographic information is listed in Table 1 for
the participants, arranged in alphabetical order
by the pseudonyms they selected.

EMERGING THEMES
From this study, six key themes emerged that
illuminated the experiences and challenges of
LGBTQ+ professionals working in housing
and residence life. These themes included safe
spaces with unsafe traces; coming out to colleagues; inclusion of live-in partners; access
to residential amenities; written and verbal
threats; and LGBTQ+ identities as strengths
not deficits. By exploring the challenges encountered by employees, important considerations and action steps can be implemented
to improve the professional lives of LGBTQ+
professionals in housing and residence life.
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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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