Date of Graduation
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
Sport and Exercise Psychology
Jack C Watson II
Dana K Voelker
Despite reports that there has been a positive trend in perception and treatment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals in recent years (Griffin, 2012; Loftus, 2001), sport, in general, is still an uncertain, and sometimes even hostile, environment for LGB athletes (Anderson, 2005; Beylin, 2006; Waldron & Krane, 2005). These concerns may be even more prevalent at the high school level, with student-athletes putting a strong emphasis on attempting to develop an independent and positive social identity through group or team interactions (Grant et al., 2014; Taifel & Turner, 1986). To gain more information on coach understanding and perceptions of the team environment, ten high school head coaches in the United States were interviewed to explore their experiences coaching openly LGB athletes. Qualitative analyses revealed four primary themes associated with coach experiences: team environment dogmas and observations, fundamental beliefs contributing to perceptions of LGB athletes, types and timing of sexual orientation disclosure, and differential LGB athlete characteristics. Future research should examine these primary themes in more detail through direct interviews with LGB athletes, as well as high school coaches in more traditionally masculine sports, such as football, men's basketball, and wrestling. The perspectives of these other populations will assist in developing a more holistic understanding of the high school sport environment for LGB individuals.
Halbrook, Meghan K., "High School Coaches' Experiences with Openly Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Athletes" (2017). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5737.