Document Type


Department (Manual Entry)

Educational Studies

Rights Management

Rhode Island College


This research was conducted so that I could learn more about how students interact with texts, specifically focusing on how students who are members of their high school Gay-­‐Straight Alliance (GSA) interact with and respond to works of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) adolescent literature. The research was conducted during the spring and fall of 2013 at two local high schools, with Garden High reading “Perfect” by Jennifer Diemer and Donovan High reading “Am I Blue?” by Bruce Coville. The research questions I pose are: 1. What common themes or issues do students in GSA groups discuss when presented with different works of LGBTQ literature?, 2. How do students’ perceptions of LGBTQ issues align or delineate from academic research conducted on LGBTQ issues?, and 3. How can the knowledge gained through this research help me as an English educator? I venture to answer these questions by using pieces of conversation about themes that were common during my time with both schools: the differences between boys and girls, adults and families, and generalizations made about certain populations. I also reflect on how engaging in this research has changed me as a student, researcher, and educator. I hope that my research will be useful for people who work with youth and are interested in incorporating LGBTQ literature into their own instruction.