Date Available


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Year of Publication


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas A. Boyd

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeffery P. Bieber


The perspectives of gay men on college and university campuses is informed by a rich gay social history and extensive roots of community politics. The experiences of gay undergraduate men have been illuminated in segmented ways in scholarly literature to date. This narrative inquiry develops and advances those efforts by exploring how gay undergraduate men construct, experience, and make meaning of their gender as a population ascribing to both liberationist and assimilationist viewpoints. Data for this qualitative study were collected at one public, four-year research university in the southeastern United States in the fall 2015 semester using recorded personal interviews with eleven men. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed for data analysis. The men included in the study represent a broad range of personal identity backgrounds, including a variety of college majors and years of experience in university study. Self-authorship and queer theoretical frames were used to analyze participants’ gender interpretations. Findings suggest men do not understand gender in isolation, but in tandem with intersections of familial ethnic and cultural backgrounds, social class status, and involvement on campus. Four major themes of experience that effect self-authorship of gender evolved from narrative analyses: masking, agency, costs, and policing. Implications for higher education professionals, including faculty, staff, and administrators, are discussed. Opportunities for further research in navigating lived experiences of marginalized campus subpopulations are also suggested and explored.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)