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‘You’re just not real’: LGBTQ+ youth and the struggle for identity in school

Harris, R. ORCID:, Wilson-Daily, A. E., Kemmelmeier, M. and Copsey-Blake, M. (2023) ‘You’re just not real’: LGBTQ+ youth and the struggle for identity in school. Educational Review. ISSN 1465-3397

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2023.2254514


This study explores the challenges of students who identify as LGBTQ+ in six secondary schools in the south of England. Drawing on survey data from five schools (n=257), and focus groups in six schools with 33 students, this study looks at the way that school culture and school climate operate and how these impact on the experiences of LGBTQ+ youngsters. This paper examines how school culture and climate serve to challenge, and occasionally affirm, LGBTQ+ identities, and how LGBTQ+ youngsters try to mediate the challenges raised by the culture and climate within schools. The comparison between schools shows that some provide more inclusive environments, but this is often at the level of the school climate, rather than the overall culture. Generally, schools should be looking to create a more inclusive school culture that are affirming of young people’s LGBTQ+ identities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:113089
Uncontrolled Keywords:LGBTQ+; identity; school culture; school climate


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