Kramper S, Brydon C, Paige Carmichael K, Chaddock HM, Gorczyca K, Witte T. “The Damage Happens … You Just Try Not to Dwell on It”: Experiences of Discrimination by Gender and Sexual Minority Veterinary Professionals and Students in the US and the UK. J Vet Med Educ. 2023;50(4):482-496


Data collected in a 2016 survey of veterinary students and professionals from the United States and the United Kingdom who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or asexual (LGBTQ+) indicated that 34.5% (152/440) had experienced difficulties related to their sexual orientation or gender identity at school or work. This study’s objective was to examine narrative responses collected in the 2016 survey and utilize content analysis to explore the research questions: What are the concerns of the LGBTQ+ veterinary population, and how do they attempt to resolve difficulties at work and school? To address these questions, we developed two taxonomies that cataloged (a) the difficulties reported by veterinary professionals and students in the 2016 survey sample and (b) the outcomes of their attempts to resolve these difficulties. The themes related to difficulties that occurred most frequently were exposure to homophobic or transphobic language (n = 69; 45.4%), outness/staying in the closet (45, 29.6%), and negative emotional outcomes (32, 21.2%). The most common themes that described the outcomes of their attempts to resolve those difficulties were unresolved (n = 41, 27.0%), changed jobs or graduated (22, 14.5%), and found self-acceptance of acceptance from others (21, 13.8%). Our findings can inform the efforts of schools and colleges of veterinary medicine, professional organizations, and workplaces in targeting improvements to support LGBTQ+ students and professionals and the development of measures tailored to this population.