Coming out in the university workplace: a case study of LGBTQ + staff visibility

Lee, Catherine (2022) Coming out in the university workplace: a case study of LGBTQ + staff visibility. Higher Education. ISSN 1573-174X

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This article explores the issue of workplace visibility and signs and symbols of LGBTQ + identity in a UK university. A poststructuralist Butlerian theoretical framework underpins this article. Sexual and gender identities are understood as multiple and fragmented, and constructed in relation to others and within the systems of power and knowledge that exist in universities and society more widely. An anonymous survey and focus group discussions were conducted with LGBTQ + staff in a higher education institution in England awarded university status in 1992. Results showed that staff felt relatively comfortable coming out to their peer-groups in the workplace but were less confident in coming out to students. Signs and symbols of LGBTQ + identities were fundamentally important to LGBTQ + staff members in helping them feel safe in the workplace and indicating to LGBTQ + students that they were potentially a source of support. The visibility of LGBTQ + senior leaders was important in empowering staff to believe that they too might progress within the university.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: LGBTQ+, Diversity, Inclusion, Visibility, Coming Out, Workplace, Staff
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Dr Catherine Pearson
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2022 09:18
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2022 09:18

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