“This Really Interesting Juggling Act”: How University Students Manage Disability/Queer Identity Disclosure and Visibility

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Abstract

Prior research related to both LGBTQ identities and disability in education has considered the role of identity management strategies including passing and selective disclosure, though little research has addressed the experiences of queer students with disabilities who manage multiple marginalized identities. This qualitative study analyzes the disclosure processes enacted by 31 LGBTQ students with disabilities at two universities in the southern United States. Themes included students’ descriptions of (a) disclosing identities for self/others, (b) disclosing identities indirectly, and (c) passing for privileged identities. Findings suggest implications for higher education institutions and leaders seeking to support queer students with disabilities.

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