Patrón 2020

Notions of masculinity are often introduced within familial contexts at an early age, shaping many Latino men’s beliefs about what it means to be man. For example, they may learn success requires independence. This idea may transfer from the home to the university setting and can influence how Latinos interact with institutional agents. Latino men’s internalized understandings of masculinity may be exacerbated for those who are gay, as they simultaneously navigate heteronormative institutional contexts while coming to terms with their sexuality. Thus, through portraiture methodology, Dr. Oscar E. Patrón and his co-author, Dr. Fernando Rodriguez, explored, how do notions of masculinity influence how undergraduate gay Latinos connect with university staff and faculty?

Key Findings

  • Gay men established connections with faculty and staff within the boundaries of academic topics, and with minimal depth beyond that, to avoid revealing their sexualities.
  • Women in faculty and staff roles served as points of connection beyond academic support. It was in these relationships that participants expressed feeling like they could be vulnerable and open to expressing emotions they were conditioned to internalize—especially in front of men.
  • Participants also resisted developing connections with staff and faculty. This behavior was exhibited through connections that limited their personal interaction and/or required minimal contact.