A review of the Literature
Challenges of the LGBT population on College Campuses
A Review of the Literature
The need for institutions of higher education to stay relevant dictates that change is necessary. For most, it will require a concerted effort to embrace diversity. Racial and ethnic diversity have historically been the most widely addressed dimensions of diversity. However, as institutions continue to advance their efforts, they create a more welcoming campus climate for all individuals and groups. A current focus of diversity efforts includes the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population. This review will look at the issues and challenges of the LGBT population on college campuses; mainly covering the need to ease the levels violence and harassment on campuses and the desire for inclusion and social justice, and suggesting strategies to address these issues.
Due to the nature of the coming out process, there are fundamental challenges to learning the experiences of the LGBT population. The labels lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender as sexual identity labels present particular problems: A student may be able to articulate feelings of attraction to the same-sex, though are reluctant to adopt the label of lesbian, gay and/or bisexual (Rankin 2003).
The challenges that the LGBT population face are neither new nor surprising but the need to address them is certainly relevant (Thiel, 2010). In fact, it appears that for as much progress that has been made on some campuses, there has been no progress on others. The presence of violence and harassment, as well as the desire for inclusion and justice, indicates the need for attention and research as a chilly campus climate can make for a distressing experience for LGBT students, faculty, and staff.
As might be expected, LGBT students’ perceptions of the campus climate and their experiences differ from those of
References: Angeli, M. California Postsecondary Commission at its meeting on June 9, 2009. Access and equity for all students: Meeting the needs of LGBT students Retrieved online on March 24, 2010 from http://www.cpec.ca.gov /completereports/2009reports/09-14.pdf Brown, R. D., Clarke, B., Gortmaker, V., & Robinson-Keilig, R. (2004). Assessing the campus climate for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) students Liang, C. T. H. & Alimo, C. (2005). The impact of white heterosexual students’ interactions on attitudes toward lesbian, gay and bisexual people: A longitudinal University, then modified by Martha Ann Spruill (Jan 14, 2000), then modified again for the LHU community Rankin, S. R. (2003). Campus climate for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people: A national perspective University of Wisconsin Madison Faculty Document 2056. (2008). Report of the committee on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues online March 23, 2010 from http://acstaff.wisc.edu/FacDoc2056LGBT-AR07.pdf