Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Jennifer J. Lesh

Second Advisor

Natalie M. Capiro

Third Advisor

Brittany Lee-Wright


This narrative inquiry aimed to delve into the lived experiences of Black closeted gay male educators in predominantly Black public schools. While existing research has extensively explored the experiences of Black gay males, there is a notable gap in understanding the lived experiences of Black closeted gay male educators. Specifically, little research has examined how these educators' experiences unfold within the context of predominately Black public schools and how these experiences shape their professional identity as they navigate their communities. The investigation centered around one central research question and one auxiliary question: Firstly, what are the lived experiences of closeted gay male educators currently teaching in predominantly Black public schools? Secondly, how do homonegativity and hypermasculinity contribute to shaping the professional identity of Black closeted gay male educators in these settings? Participants shared their narratives during one-on-one sessions conducted via Zoom. Through the personal narratives of five participants, distinct themes emerged, leading to the identification of three overarching themes: 1) The Classroom as a Closeted Space, 2) Nuanced Understanding, and 3) "The Black Church" Paradox of Intolerance. These themes collectively illuminate the complex intersection of identity, privacy, and societal expectations faced by Black closeted gay male educators in predominantly Black schools Overall, this narrative underscores the multifaceted challenges encountered by gay Black educators and offers comprehensive recommendations for fostering understanding, acceptance, and inclusivity within the education system and broader society.



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