Our Voices Matter Too: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experiences of Gay Latino Teachers in Heteronormative School Climates

Date
2022
Authors
Juárez, Juan
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Abstract

While there is research around LGBTQQIA educators, there is very little research to no targeted research on gay Latino educators. Existing research focuses on White gay and lesbian teachers. Over-generalizing research results and a failure to include the experiences of minority LGBTQQIA communities such as Latino teachers limits the utility of potential findings and the discussion that those findings generate towards creating a more inclusive environment for teachers in the United States. This study focused on using a phenomenological approach. Specifically, this study used a descriptive Husserlian approach that focused on identifying the experiences as described by the participants in the study (Moustakas, 1994). This study focused on exploring the lived experiences of four gay Latino teachers in San Antonio, Texas to better understand their lived experiences as it relates to the phenomenon in the research question (Bhattacharya, 2017). The phenomenon in the research question is gay Latino teachers experience of heteronormative school climates. As a result, this dissertation focused on the following overarching research question: What are the lived experiences of gay Latino teachers when their ace and sexual orientation intersect in a heteronormative school climate? As a result, from the findings, it is revealed that gay Latino teacher's identities are not fixed. Instead, gay Latino teacher's identities are in flux. This means that depending on space, time, and context their identity becomes fluid and shifts into either embracing queer theory or blending into heteronormativity. Grounded and analyzed through Queer Theory, the findings are aligned to the theoretical framework in this research that queer participant's sexuality is fluid depending on space, time, and context. As a result, a new conceptual framework model is presented that showcases the identity navigation gay Latino teachers have to undergo in a heteronormative school climate. This navigation reveals that the four major factors that influence how open gay Latino teachers can be with their sexual orientation are the following: strong relationships, strong queer visibility, inclusive administrators, and their race. The findings in this research aim to support and provide recommendations to district leaders and school principals in creating environments that are inclusive for gay Latino teachers and other members of the LGBTQQIA community.

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This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
Keywords
Gay, Heteronormativity, Inclusive, Latino, School, Teacher
Citation
Department
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies