Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gyant, LaVerne

Second Advisor

Jeria, Jorge

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Queer people of color (QPOC), who participate in higher education experience understand the intersectional nature of racial and sexual identity development. This study explores the experiences of thirteen self-identified QPOC who participate in higher education using the Portraiture methodology. It highlights the voices of QPOC as they navigate the processes of coming out while accenting their understanding of their intersecting racial and sexual identities. This study offers a model of racial and sexual identity development based on the narratives of the participants in this study. It highlights their strengths and adaptability as they negotiate and ascribe meaning to their lives as higher education participants, and members of their families. The QPOC Racial and Sexual Intersectional Identities Model consists of six postures which represent multiple, flexible representations of QPOC’s dispositions to key aspects of their lives regarding coming out, and living authentically. The model includes six identity stances: 1) Politicking Identities: Black or Queer, 2) Constructing Safety/Defining Normal, 3) Challenging Hegemony, 4) Dividing Kin/Separation of family, and Queer relationships, 5) Testing Waters: Coming Out Strategically, and 6) Embracing Pariah: Accepting Otherness.


150 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type