Out Lesbians in Nursing: What would Florence say?

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Journal of Lesbian Studies


lesbian health, nursing education, LGBT health


Research and education on lesbian health has increased substantially in quantity and quality in the past 40 years, but little of this work has been produced by nursing scholars. We began our academic nursing careers as out lesbian faculty at the same college of nursing in the late 1980s, where we collaborated on the earliest studies of attitudes about lesbians in the nursing profession. Our paths diverged in the early 1990s, but we shared similar experiences in nursing education that highlight the structural and attitudinal barriers within nursing that have inhibited lesbian health studies. The deeply imbedded lesbian phobia within nursing has historic roots that plague contemporary research, education, and practice. In this article, we discuss the inclusion of lesbian health in nursing, share some of our personal stories about the obstacles we encountered, and end with suggestions for changing this stifling climate for future generations of lesbian health scholars.


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