Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Burkard, Alan

Second Advisor

Knox, Sarah

Third Advisor

Edwards, Lisa


Coming out in the education workplace creates a unique set of challenges for the Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual (LGB) individual. Harbeck (1997) describes the struggle in public education with regard to homosexuality as "one of the most publicly volatile and personally threatening debates in our national history" (p.1 ). The principal mission of schools has traditionally been to pass on societal values to a younger generation and educators have been hired to serve as role models for such values as well as for their teaching competencies. Depending on the community environment related to issues of sexual orientation, if an educator were to publicly reveal her/his sexual orientation it may be considered deviating from the societal norms that the institution wants to reinforce. As a result, the educator's choice to come out in the workplace is complicated by the fear of possible job loss, harassment, loss of credibility, and discriminatory practices ranging from subtle to overt (Griffin, 1992; Jennings, 2005; Woods & Harbeck, 1992)...



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