Research and Research Interests

“An Analysis of LGBT Youth Organizations and their Effectiveness at Reducing Anxiety and Empowering LGBT Young Adults”

Department of Sociology
Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 2016

          Using a qualitative, semi-structured process, 17 participants of an urban, mid-western LGBT center were interviewed regarding four major areas: social support, positive peer interaction, positive adult role models, and safe spaces.  Findings suggest that all four areas help reduce anxiety, and empower members similarly to what research shows for GSAs.  Results from this exploration offers insights into the potential for large youth organizations to positively impact LGBTQ youth.

“Trans Student Expectations of College and University Campuses, Policies, and Procedures”

Department of Sociology
Manchester University, North Manchester, IN, 2014

          Qualitative research design using Feminist and Queer theory models that explore the changing needs of Trans students on college campuses within the past 15 years.

Research Interests


Interest Areas:

  • LGBTQ+ and Queer Theory
  • Heteronormativity
  • Intersectionality
  • Sex Practices
  • Sex Education
  • Higher Education
  • Ally and Safe Zone Education
  • Social Anxiety and Minority Stress


Future Research Topics

  • "Best practices" for surveys and questionnaires regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, romanticism, etc.
  • Pre- and post-surveys for Safe Space Training results; compare SEC schools, HBCUs, and PWIs
  • Compare and contrast Social Anxiety and Minority Stress; note the differences in "treatment"
  • A modern look at LGBTQ rights; what's next?
  • A modern look at higher education policies and their inclusion of Trans students
  • The state of sex education in the South
  • Professional development for LGBTQ higher education administrators
  • How Latinx and AAPI students become "invisible minorities" at PWIs


If you are interested in working with me on any of these topics, please email me at weheath@lsu.edu