Sexuality and gender diverse (hereafter SGD) people are increasingly visible in Australian society. Despite this fact, systemic, institutional and interpersonal heterosexist and cissexist discrimination prevails and is enacted in overt and covert ways. University campuses are not immune to these external conditions and may be complicit in creating unfriendly or even hostile environments for SGD students and staff learning and working in these institutions.
Over the last few years, there has been growing research interest in the experiences of sexuality and gender diverse staff and students in Australian higher education. To date, much of this research has been qualitative, and based on interviews with students (and sometimes, staff) who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer (LGBTIQ). This report documents findings from mixed methods research conducted at Western Sydney University (WSU). Diversity and Safety on Campus @ Western (Ferfolja et al, 2018) is the first and only Australian study to collect both qualitative and quantitative data on heterosexism and cissexism (N=412) experienced by sexuality and gender diverse (SGD) staff and students in a university context. Additionally, it is the only study of its kind to document the views of all staff and students (SGD and non-SGD) about sexuality and gender diversity, and their capacity to intervene in heterosexist and cissexist exclusion (N=2,395). This landmark research makes a significant contribution to the field through the:
- exploration of the interpersonal, educational, and socio-cultural perspectives that prevail about sexuality and gender diversity on campus,
- examination of experiences of heterosexist and cissexist exclusion, and
- investigation into the services available to support SGD individuals on campus.