ERIC Number: ED414778
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-25
"Did You Think I Was Going To Be Riding a Harley or Something?": Lesbian and Bisexual Student Leaders' Experiences of College Communities.
Using ethnographic research methods, semistructured interviews were conducted with three women involved with a gay/lesbian/bisexual student organization. All three individuals were sophomores at an urban university in a large metropolitan area. The students discussed the fluid nature of the definitions of lesbian, gay, and bisexual, noting that they were often overlapping and not as important in detail as in concept. The students noted that they functioned in multiple communities, and that issues of gender were more substantial than issues of sexual orientation. They also commented that campus communities based on sexual orientation usually centered around gay men. The expectations of campus life that the students held before entering college were limited: they wanted to be more"out" and they wanted to find more people like themselves than they found in high school. What they discovered in college, or perhaps created, was a sense of community and family, using their experiences as "outsiders" in the dominant culture to become "insiders" in a community based on sexual orientation and social stigmatization. (Contains 10 references.) (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).