This qualitative study provided evidence of common patterns of involvement, leadership, and identity among 15 students leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) campus groups. Participants were 7 men, 5 women, and 3 female-to-male transgender students; one first- year, 4 sophomores, 4 juniors, and 6 seniors; and 8 White, 2 Black, one biracial, one international, 2 Latina/o, and one White Jewish students. Within the overall pattern of involvement, an involvement-identity cycle occurred in which increased leadership led to increased public LGBT identity and a merged gender/sexual orientation and leadership identity. Evidence also supported the classification of students into three distinct identities: LGBT Leader, LGBT Activist, and Queer Activist. I present implications for scholars and educators working with LGBT and other students leading in identity-based contexts.
By Kristen A. Renn, 2007