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Transitioning from high school to college introduces a student to a host of new communities and freedoms, many of which are conducive to understanding and exploring queer (sensu lato) identity. Our objective is to discern what effects moving to college has on exploration and expression of queerness, in conjunction with how the student interacts with others in this new environment. We plan to accomplish this by conducting a series of interviews with queer or questioning Binghamton University students, primarily focusing on those in their first year of study. We seek to compile their individual experiences with the change in environment and its effect on them in regards to their identity or how they are able to explore and express it. These interviews will attempt to isolate key aspects of university life that could contribute to greater comfort or ability to explore queer identity in comparison to a pre-college environment. Some of the primary factors that we will address include an increased access to information regarding queer identity; exposure to different queer communities either through campus organizations or individuals; and the possibility of the campus community being a more accepting place for queer identities than the student’s pre-college community.



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Culture Shock: A Study in Queer Exploration and Acceptance Through the College Transition for Binghamton University Students