Master of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects


Background: There is little research done in the environment that the athletic trainer works professionally. It is expected that the findings of this study will contribute toward the dialogue around the importance of inclusion and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender athlete in a traditional hostile space. Purpose: The purpose is to explore the climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender athletes in the collegiate setting's athletic training facility. Methods: 96 certified athletic trainers were surveyed via email using the Campus Climate survey modified for the sports setting. The survey had 62 items across three sections: demographics, the climate, and policy and procedures. Data Analysis: Means and standard deviations were computed for all items on the survey. Means between respondent groups were analyzed using independent samples t-test. Independent variables for t-tests were gender (sex assigned at birth), sexual orientation, and the ATs' perception if they consider themselves an ally or not/unsure. Open-ended response areas were combined and compared between answers. Answers were then transformed into different themes. Results: The heteronormative climate depends on the individual working within the climate, from perceptions of ATs working within the collegiate setting gender (p<0.05), sexual orientation (p<0.05), and if the ATs identified as an ally (p<0.05) of means to examine if the athletic climate is inclusive. Open-ended responses were split into three different themes. Themes were harassment/concerns, advocacy for LGBTQ+, and confusion on questions. Conclusion: The athletic training climate is an area that needs more research regarding LGBTQ+ issues and care. The research used with the Campus Climate survey is a step in the right direction for the overall climate for LGBTQ+ individuals. Athletic trainers need to be well informed on inclusion policy and procedures to create a safe environment. Keywords: Athletic Training, Diversity, Sports Climate, Student-athletes


Dr. Matt Kutz

Second Reader

Dr. Vikki Krane