Date of Conferral







Susan Marcus


Over the past 20 years, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals have made progress in attaining the same basic civil rights as heterosexual individuals. As in other civil rights movements, the college campus has played an important role. The LGBT community participates in academic and campus life, and numerous colleges are developing and supporting an inclusive, safe, and respectful culture. However, bias and prejudice continue to occur. While researchers have studied the repercussions of prejudice, discrimination, and low evaluation scores for LGBT faculty, little research has been done to explore professional identity and activism in LGBT faculty at traditional 4-year universities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore how the narratives of LGBT faculty at traditional 4-year universities inform the experience of professional identity and activism. Using social identity theory and the concept of activism as conceptual frameworks, 13 faculty from college campuses across the United States were interviewed. The data were analyzed using NVivo software and hand coding. Ten themes were identified: coming out, identity, gender fluidity, stigmatization, campus climate, blatant prejudice and discrimination, resources, advocacy, responsibility, and positive experiences. Participants described professional identity as being fused with their sexual and social identity and described activism as an obligation. The results of this study will be shared in the scholarly and professional communities to support civil rights, activism, and advocacy for the LBGT community on campuses. Future research is recommended regarding the struggles of coming/being out in the academic workplace, as well as activism for LGBT issues on college campuses.