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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Paying It Forward: The Creation of Queer Capital

Lee, Amanda (2023) Paying It Forward: The Creation of Queer Capital. In: Queer Joy – The University of Sunderland’s 3rd Annual LGBTQI+ Multidisciplinary Research Conference, 4th July 2023, University of Sunderland - Online.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)


Currently, only 51% of LGB staff are out about their sexual identity in schools in the United Kingdom (UK) (Milsom, 2021). The number of teachers who are open about being gender diverse are significantly lower. The impact of this is that LGB pupils in schools in the UK may not see themselves reflected in the identities of their teachers. This lack of role modelling impacts the wellbeing of these children, bearing in mind that LGBTQ+ youth are already at higher risk of Social Emotional and Mental Health issues, including depression and suicide (Williams et al., 2021).

Mixed methodology research conducted into the experiences and decision-making processes of LGBTQ+ teachers about their willingness to be open about their sexual identity concluded that the amount of experience a teacher has, has a correlation to the likelihood of the teacher feeling able to be open about their sexual orientation in school, not just to their colleagues, but also to the wider school community including their pupils. I have theorised that the reason for this is due to the increased social capital (Bourdieu, 1986) that comes with being an established member of staff, teachers with more than 10 years' experience were significantly more likely to be open about their sexual orientation.

Therefore, established LGBTQ+ staff and allies within schools can leverage their social capital within their school communities to create and expand safe spaces increasing the visibility and normalising LGBTQ+ identities within schools. This could be framed as the creation of Queer capital, through exchanging social capital into a form of collective capital that benefits all LGBTQ+ staff. If embraced this could lead to the further spread of Queer Joy as visible and joyful LGBTQ+ staff can lead to visible and joyful LGBTQ+ pupils, families and communities.

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More Information

Depositing User: Amanda Lee


Item ID: 16269

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Amanda Lee: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2023 14:31
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2023 14:31


Author: Amanda Lee ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Education > Educational Research
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Working with Young People

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