“There are people who are affirming, but I don't think there are a lot of allies.”: Lived experiences of LGBTQ students with allies at Christian Universities
LGBTQ college students frequently hold negative views of campus climate, often due to heterosexist and homophobic rules, regulations, and interactions. These experiences are often increased at Christian-affiliated colleges and universities. While some research has looked into ways to improve experiences of LGBTQ students, none have focused on the work of LGBTQ allies at Christian colleges and universities. This phenomenological study interviewed LGTBQ students at Christian colleges to better understand their lived experiences and interactions with LGBTQ allies at their institutions, as well as reasons for attending their university. Seven students with various sexual orientations and gender identities, from two universities, participated in the research. Using Saldaña’s (2013) qualitative coding methods, the interviews were analyzed for themes, of which five were developed. This research deepens the understanding of LGTBQ allies within the context of Christian colleges, as well as furthering understanding of LGBTQ students’ experiences at Christian colleges.