194448 Building bridges over walls: The university and school partnership for creating LGBT safe spaces

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:45 PM

Frederick Schulze, DEd CHES , Health Sciences, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven, PA
Research has often focused upon overt and covert discrimination against LGBT students on campuses. Researchers have noted that the process of sexual identity development is complex and that LGBT students can be influenced by environmental contexts. Researchers have also indicated that co-curricular activity and academic and social outcomes for LGBT students can be influenced by the type of campus environment provided outside the traditional classroom. In March 2009, the investigator implemented a state-wide LGBT Forum and hosted the event at a small, state university. The Forum was developed to foster a nurturing environment that promoted LGBT scholarship and leadership among school teachers, university faculty, school students, university students, staff and allies. An additional primary focus of the Forum was to encourage the development of LGBT safe spaces at schools and universities throughout the state. The investigator will describe the pre and post assessment for the LGBT Forum and summarize the experiences of the student attendees. The pre assessment consisted of a randomly chosen group of pre-registrants who answered questions regarding perceptions of homophobia at their campuses or schools. The post assessment consisted of a randomly chosen group of Forum participants regarding their self-efficacy in creating (or strengthening) LGBT safe spaces at their campuses or schools. Implications for the education field will be described.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the assessment results of an LGBT conference that targeted universities and high schools. Discuss the stuggles associated with creating safe spaces for LGBT youth in rural areas.

Keywords: Youth, Gay

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: health education professor; presented on LGBT issues at numerous conferences; advise campus LGBT group; coordinated campus/community partnership on LGBT issues
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.