Sexual and Gender Diverse Leader Perceptions of Authentic Leadership: A Qualitative Study

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Sexual and gender diverse (SGD) educational leaders balance intersections of personal and professional identity within the K–12 public school workplace. The problem is the conditions supporting SGD educational leaders to self-disclose aspects of sexual and gender identity in K–12 public school leadership roles are unknown. The perspectives of SGD educational leaders and the conditions influencing the presentation of authentic self within K–12 public school leadership roles were explored. Relational leadership theory and social identity theory provided the theoretical frameworks for the study. Through a basic qualitative methodology, 19 participants were interviewed who identified as an SGD leader in a K–12 public school in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DELMARVA). Interview responses were coded using an inductive thematic analysis framework. Semi-structured interviews and the data collection processes adhered to ethical protocols with information administered and data analyzed via a secure computer. Results of this dissertation may assist public school institutions in identifying and implementing equitable supports for SGD to present authentically while increasing visibility, promoting inclusive practices, and providing additional research concerning sexual and gender diversity. Recommendations consist of further research promoting and advancing workplace conditions, advocating for the inclusion of diverse perspectives.