Finding space: a photovoice study of gay students in higher education




This session contributes the Education and Student Experience: transforming lives and futures by addressing the the current qualitative knowledge gap documenting the lived experiences of gay students in Higher Education. Additionally, the article contributes to a methodological gap in how gay students in Higher Education have been investigated. With the help of Photovoice, this presentation will discuss the lived experiences of 16 gay students studying at university in the United Kingdom.

The data will show that the participants experienced a sense of loneliness and isolation whilst at university and identified the classroom as a critically important environment to create belonging. Whilst the classroom is central to belonging, the data complicates this fact by identifying that gay student’s battle with how to perform as themselves in the classroom thusly affecting their engagement and attendance. Additionally, the data will show that while participants did not experience overt hostility nor brazen acts of homophobia, they did recognize a degree of LGBTQAI+ inclusion ‘lip service’ by the university.

Finding space: a photovoice study of gay students in higher education PowerPoint, please note only LJMU staff and students can view this.