Exequiel R. Gono Jr., Vincent G. Villaluz, Christian Mhel A. Niala, Kenneth A. Libante


In law enforcement and correctional agencies, sexual orientation and gender identity-based harassment and employment discrimination remained persistent until today. Moreover, there is stereotyping involved in the issue of being closeted in the law enforcement agency. This study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the experiences, challenges, and struggles faced by closeted officers in law enforcement organizations. The study’s participants are closeted police officers, who were chosen through snowball sampling, while data were collected via interview guide questionnaires. The study employs a qualitative phenomenological research approach, focusing on what people experience concerning certain significant life events and how they perceive those occurring. Thematic analysis was employed as the chosen qualitative data analysis approach. The study revealed that closeted gay police officers needed to adjust and adapt themselves to the workplace dynamics to fit in while balancing their values to stay true to themselves. The participants also experienced discrimination, stereotypes, and bullying. The significance of this study is to understand better the experiences, challenges, and struggles of closeted police officers; specifically, to explore their lived experiences in law enforcement organizations, document the difficulties the respondents have faced and the coping techniques they used to overcome the significant challenges in their professions and document how the closeted police officers project themselves during police operations.


JEL: J15, J71, J78, Z13


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closeted police officers, LGBTQ, law enforcement, experiences, criminology, Philippines

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