I am because we are: exploring the relationships between mentorship, involvement in LGBTQ student organizations, resiliency, and leadership efficacy of queer students of color

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Parker T. Hurley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Colleen Fairbanks

Abstract: Although undergraduates are enrolling in our colleges and universities during a historical moment in which the lives of LGBTQ communities have never been as visible, LGBTQ harassment, violence and oppression is still pervasive within institutions of higher education in the United States. Still, LGBTQ student leaders persist towards graduation. Moving away from research that is grounded within a deficit model, this study examines the relationship between community-based practices (social support) found on college campuses that foster resiliency and the cultivation of leadership efficacy of LGBTQ undergraduates; namely in the form of LGBTQ student organizations and mentor relationships. Using data from the 2012 Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (Dugan & Associates, 2012) this quantitative study works to address the gap in research exploring the leadership experiences of LGBTQ undergraduates, that has largely failed to incorporate the complexities of negotiating leadership at the intersections of race, sexuality and gender identity by centering the unique experiences of queer and transgender students of color. The results of the study indicate that overall, LGBTQ students demonstrated high levels of resiliency and moderately high levels of leadership efficacy but LGBTQ Students of Color had disparate experiences from their White peers in regards to mentorship and involvement in LGBTQ student organizations. Additional within group differences were found, with transgender students reporting lower levels of resiliency than their non-transgender peers. The findings of this study further problematize literature that inaccurately conflates the experiences of LGBTQ students, and by doing so, defaults to dominant identities, practices and epistemologies (i.e. heteronormativity, homonormativity, cisgenderism, Whiteness). Operating within a queer, intersectional, social justice lens, this study offers student affairs professionals insights about how to engage with queer and transgender students of color in more culturally responsive and affirming ways.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Leadership efficacy, LGBTQ student organizations, Mentorship, Resiliency, Transgender, Undergraduates of color
Sexual minority college students $x Social networks
Transgender college students $x Social networks
Minority college students $x Social networks
Resilience (Personality trait)

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