Transitioning OUT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Students' Concerns in the Senior Year
Author(s): Silver, Blake R., Krietzberg, Lily, & Kalaivanan, Tharuna
Citation: Silver, Blake R., Krietzberg, Lily, & Kalaivanan, Tharuna. (2021). Transitioning OUT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Students' Concerns in the Senior Year. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 33(2), 9-27.
As literature on the senior-year transition expands, scholars have explored the experiences of seniors from a range of sociodemographic groups. However, the senior-year transitions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) college students have yet to be examined. This neglect is surprising, given that prior studies suggest LGBQ students face unique constraints in the first-year transition and within the transition to adulthood more broadly. Analyzing data from 20 in-depth interviews, we aimed to understand the concerns of LGBQ-identified college seniors. A thematic analysis revealed four distinct concerns that were linked to students' identities as they looked toward life after graduation: (a) wariness about entering the workforce, (b) ambivalence about leaving the university, (c) concerns about navigating the coming-out process post-college, and (d) concerns about locating support. These findings have implications for research on college student transitions and student affairs practice.