LGBTQ (In)Visibility Within College Contexts

Higher education policies, initiatives, and organizations often reflect general societal values and attitudes regarding LGBTQ individuals. For example, American higher education administrators of the 1950s responded to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM’s) classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder by expelling or “treating” students engaged in or accused of same-sex activity or attraction (e.g., with sexual orientation conversion therapy). Similarly, transgenderism—referred to as transsexualism in the DSM prior to 1973—was also regarded by college administrators as an innate psychological deficiency that could be cured with appropriate psychological interventions. Following the 1973 DSM declassification of homosexuality as a disorder, sexual- and gender-minority student visibility increased alongside social and campus activism regarding institutional and health reforms (e.g., Stonewall Riots, Campus Pride).

While sexual- and ...

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