A Retrospective Exploration of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students' Perceptions of Teacher Support


Author/Creator ORCID




Department of Educational Professions


Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Citation of Original Publication


The author owns the copyright to this work. This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by FSU for non-commercial research and education. For permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the author.


The need for teachers to provide social-emotional support to students in order to promote learning is well documented. Although teacher support is important for all students, studies show that students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual do not feel as supported as their heterosexual peers. This study examined the perceptions of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals about the ways in which teachers provided social-emotional support. Using a retrospective, exploratory approach, the study included semi-structured interviews with young adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Data gathered from the interviews was coded and analyzed to develop a better understanding of teacher support for lesbian, gay, and bisexual students from the students' perspectives. As themes emerged, a three-tiered model of support was developed that describes how lesbian, gay, and bisexual students determine whether or not a teacher is supportive and to what degree. Additional analysis revealed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual students often harbor strong beliefs about teacher characteristics that may serve as barriers to teacher support. The findings in this study fill a gap in the current literature and may be used to inform in-service and pre-service teacher preparation programs aimed at improving the ability of teachers to act in ways that are supportive of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students.