Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Donna Schnorr


LGBTQ public PK-12 educators make decisions on their sexual identity disclosure management. This study sought the phenomenological aspects of how these management decisions and actions affect career path, promotion, and fulfillment to retirement. The purpose of this study was to raise awareness of LGBTQ PK-12 educators’ experiences with sexual identity management disclosure strategies and how these strategies impact their career. The sample was four educators from across the northern tier of the United States; the Northeast, the Northwest, and the Upper Midwest. Narrative inquiry produced thick, rich and descriptive stories of interactions with their students which gave meaning to their careers. These were cases that enriched the semi-structured questionnaire. All interviews were held via Skype, in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. Findings included elements such as silence as a main method of maintaining a lengthy and successful career. By not vocalizing their sexual orientation, they managed their disclosure in such a way that maintained career path security. Staying in the same district and the same school was shared by all four as a characteristic of success. More strategies were incorporated, working beyond the classroom teaching duties, such as coaching sports, or sponsoring extracurricular activities made these teachers “indispensable” to their districts and community. Limitations include that there were only four, all were White, all were at the end of their career or already retired, three were gay, one was lesbian. No transexuals, bisexuals, young educators, educators of color, or genderqueer individuals participated. The study and the sample were geographically limited. It is hoped for future research that these sectors of the LGBTQ community are brought into the workforce and are open or available to be in research. Finally, all four of these educators were ready for the new generation of LGBTQ educators to take the reins of LGBTQ rights and move forward in great promise.