The Effects of Educators’ Actions on Black LGBT Students at an Alternative Urban High School

Tina Annette Arrington, University of Pennsylvania


Using Minority Stress Theory and Intersectionality Theory as theoretical frameworks, the perspectives of Black American LGBT youth attendees of an alternative urban high school were explored to understand the effect of their educators’ actions on their well-being. In-depth, semi-structured interviews and life maps were conducted with eight students and one faculty ally from the school to gain a clear understanding of the psychological and sociocultural factors that affect LGBT students in unsupportive school environments and the role that educators may play in this context. Data analysis examined patterns in participant interviews as they relate to the possible stressors LGBT students face in schools and how racial identity exacerbates this stress. Findings indicate that while educators’ actions may adversely affect the emotional well-being of LGBT youth, these students’ intersecting identities of race, sexuality, gender and socioeconomic status (SES) also play a significant role in how they perceive their educational experience. Although school connectedness seems absent, students’ resilience appeared to be a salient protective factor against a heteronormative school climate. Further research needs to focus on transgender students, unfair disparities in disciplinary actions enacted against them, and increased rates of suicidality among this population.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Black studies|Gender studies|Secondary education|LGBTQ studies

Recommended Citation

Arrington, Tina Annette, "The Effects of Educators’ Actions on Black LGBT Students at an Alternative Urban High School" (2020). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI27833020.