Date of Award

10-29-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning (Ed.D)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Dr. Harriet Bessette

Second Committee Member

Dr. Corrie Theriault

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jillian Ford

Abstract

The implicit acceptance among educators and in institutions of learning that discussions around LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues are off limits perpetuates the marginalization of these identities and those who inhabit them. In K-12 schools and college classrooms the prevailing silence sends disturbing messages about the treatment of adults and children when their sexual orientation fails to fit neatly into prescribed binary classifications. As one who has been silent as well as silenced, I understand this dichotomy from a unique perspective. Moreover, my lived membership within diverse cultural and racial groups that have been routinely marginalized through institutionalized practices in educational and social contexts provides a complex lens with which to examine and complicate notions of heteronormativity, identity, and Otherness. As proposed by Ellis (2009a), using an autoethnographic approach as the qualitative method for this study positions me “at the intersection of the personal and the cultural, thinking and observing as an ethnographer and writing and describing as a storyteller” (p. 13). This methodology opens avenues for the reader to interact with the narrative authentically, reimagining and reconstructing more inclusive worlds along with the researcher and the participant who are inextricably linked.