Under the spotlight: exploring the challenges and opportunities of being a visible LGBT+ teacher

Journal article

Brett, A. 2022. Under the spotlight: exploring the challenges and opportunities of being a visible LGBT+ teacher. Sex Education . https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2022.2143344
AuthorsBrett, A.

There is an important and broad range of existing literature exploring the experiences of lesbian and gay teachers. However, most of this literature adopts a deficit model whereby openly lesbian and gay teachers are viewed as likely to experience personal and professional difficulty. This article offers a more nuanced, and sometimes positive, portrayal of the experiences of LGBT+ secondary school teachers. It presents findings from a case study of three teachers engaging in a photo elicitation research project, in which participants took photographs in their schools to represent the spaces where they felt most and least safe. Participants later discussed the significance of these pictures in one-to-one interviews, revealing key insights that were often time and contextually specific. Although many of the findings support the view that being an openly LGBT+ teacher can present challenges, the research also provided examples of more positive narratives. These narratives present a new and hopeful perspective, where LGBT+ teachers’ identities can carry a form of queer capital, offering important positives for both the teachers themselves and the schools in which they work.

KeywordsLGBT; LGBTQ+; Teachers; Queer; Visibility; Education; Educators; Schools; Inclusion; LGBT+
JournalSex Education
PublisherTaylor and Francis Online
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2022.2143344
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14681811.2022.2143344
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Oct 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited25 May 2023
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