University of Fort Hare, South Africa
An exposure to homophobic attacks may vary by a person’s place of residency, and at the university, lesbians may function at their optimal level when receiving social and emotional support from the significant others. The aim of this study was to investigate how lesbian students at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, deal with discrimination. Twenty- one lesbians, aged between 19 and 37 years old, were selected using snowball technique and they gave their informed consent to participate in a qualitative study. Drawing from resilience theory as a theoretical framework of this study, the findings showed that lesbian students experience unconditional positive regard from their lecturers and reported high levels of psychological well-being, namely, self-acceptance, self-autonomy, purpose and meaning in life, positive relationship with others and environmental mastery. In conclusion, this study recommends the implementation of policies on transformation to address diversity at the universities.
Keywords: lesbians, discrimination, self-esteem, university, psychological well-being.