STEM as a cover: towards a framework for Queer Emotions, Battle Fatigue, and STEM identity

Mario I. Suárez, Andrea M. Hawkman, Colby Tofel-Grehl, Beth L. MacDonald, Kristin Searle, David F. Feldon, Taryn Sommers, Michael Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study seeks to understand the daily violence endured by queer youth. We use Queer Battle Fatigue, Ahmed’s cultural politics of emotion, and STEM identity theories to make meaning of youth’s experience. We draw from audio recordings and transcriptions of 15 queer youth over the course of a summer and fall LGBTQ + maker camp in a rural town in the Intermountain Western part of the United States. Findings show that the maker camp environment provided queer campers casual conversations about microaggressions and violence endured at school. In this context, STEM served as a cover (concealed goals) in three ways: emotion, validation/advice, and safety. This particular environment provided them recognition and validation of both their STEM and queer identities, allowing the group to be able to casually mention these instances of violence they had endured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-979
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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