Coming out is the process of acknowledging same-sex attractions to oneself and to others. It is both a personal and a public process. For many gay and bisexual students, college marks a pivotal point where for the first time they feel free to explore their same-sex attractions. This book is about the struggles students face in coming out. The focus is twofold: the experiences individuals face in coming to terms with their sexual identity and the process of developing a group identity. The development of a group identity involves a degree of political investment. For some students, becoming political means adopting a queer persona. As one student noted, Queer is kind of an 'in your face' attitude toward heterosexism and homophobia. A primary focus of this book revolves around the notion of queer identity and how students engage as cultural workers seeking both campus and societal change.
About the Author
ROBERT A. RHOADS is a Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Higher Education, Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he was a student affairs administrator at the State University of New York College at Potsdam. He is the author, with William G. Tierney, of Cultural Leadership in Higher Education and Enhancing Promotion, Tenure, and Beyond: Faculty Socialization as a Cultural Process.
Table of Contents
Constructing Cultural Borders
The Struggle for Identity
Individuals within the Borders
The Closet and a Negative Existence
Coming Out in College
Cultural Borders and the Group
Cultural Workers and the Politics of Silencing
Redefining Cultural Borders
Identity and Socialization
Toward Communities of Difference