The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 96

Matthew Antonio Bosch

From this study, six key themes
emerged that illuminated the
experiences and challenges of
LGBTQ+ professionals working in
housing and residence life.

Safe Spaces with Unsafe Traces

While applying for housing

While applying for housing and residence
life jobs, LGBTQ+ professionals shared that
inherently they felt safer and more secure
knowing their prospective employers already
had housing options available that catered to
LGBTQ+ students.

and residence life jobs, LGBTQ+

While participants shared how living-learning communities provided a safe haven for
LGBTQ+ students and feeling of LGBTQ+ inclusion on campus, residence halls in general
provided challenges for LGBTQ+ professionals who were seeking a similar comfortable
space to grow and develop professionally.
Xavier (they/them), a mid-level professional in
California, shared how the safety of residence
halls suddenly came crashing down in a very
personal way during an unexpected time of
the day: "A student over a microphone, in the
middle of the day, outside of the residence hall,
called me a slur in another language that I recognized. I reported that immediately."

employers already had housing

Xavier was surprised at the brazenness of
the situation, occurring in broad daylight, a
stark reminder that one targeted bias incident
can transform a residence hall from sanctuary
into unsafe space. Experiences like this confirm
findings in the literature that LGBTQ+ employ-

96

ees in higher education continue to experience
threatening behavior that negatively influences
their professional lives (Croteau & Lark, 1995;
Croteau & von Destinon, 1994; Cullen & Smart,
1991; Kortegast & van der Toorn, 2018; Rankin
et al., 2010; Renn & Hodges, 2007; Sanlo et al.,
2002; Vaccaro, 2012.)

professionals shared that inherently
they felt safer and more secure
knowing their prospective
options available that catered to
LGBTQ+ students.

Coming Out to Colleagues
Housing and residence life staff should consider that their colleagues may not always
arrive to new jobs already out and openly
LGBTQ+, but they may come out any time
during their employment, including during
professional staff training. An exercise used
in many housing and residence life trainings
is known as Crossing the Line, where identities or life experiences are announced openly.
Individuals may choose to cross an imaginary
line to indicate that they share these identities
or life experiences as a way to claim and share
pieces of their backgrounds that are important
to them. Leigh (they/them), a mid-level profes-

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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