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‘I had a lump in my stomach’: Swedish gay and lesbian students' experiences of their time in school

Hammarlund, Kina; Sjunnesson, Sara; Tettenborn, Nina; Jomeen, Julie; Thorstensson, Stina


Kina Hammarlund

Sara Sjunnesson

Nina Tettenborn

Stina Thorstensson


Objectives: Gay and lesbian youth can experience ignorance and a lack of acknowledgement surrounding their sexual orientation during their time in school. This qualitative interview study describes how Swedish gay and lesbian students experience their secondary school years on the basis that society has heteronormative values. Methods: The data is based on eight telephone interviews with gay and lesbian young adults, aged 18–25 and was analysed using a qualitative narrative approach. Findings: The findings presented four themes: not fitting into the norm of heterosexuality, lacking confirmation of their own homosexuality, finding courage, seeing the school as a supportive or a non-supportive environment. Conclusions: A way to normalise homosexuality can be to discuss sexual development and attraction from a health-promoting perspective. Professionals working in school need to feel comfortable with issues such as sexuality in order to create a situation of confidence for the student.

Publication Date Jul 2, 2017
Journal British journal of school nursing
Print ISSN 1752-2803
Electronic ISSN 2052-2827
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 6
Pages 284-290
Institution Citation Hammarlund, K., Sjunnesson, S., Tettenborn, N., Jomeen, J., & Thorstensson, S. (2017). ‘I had a lump in my stomach’: Swedish gay and lesbian students' experiences of their time in school. British Journal of School Nursing, 12(6), 284-290.
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Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in British journal of school nursing, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://www.magonlineli...2968/bjsn.2017.12.6.284


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