Minority stress and health
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Historically, the pathologization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) orientations shaped research and professional practice, while the impact of stigma was not considered. Within a minority stress conceptualization however, stigma-related prejudice and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people constitute chronically stressful events that can lead to negative health outcomes. Minority stress has been linked to psychological distress among gay men and lesbians and may contribute to elevated rates of distress frequently observed among LGBTQ youth. This study explored the impact of minority stress on psychological distress among LGBTQ youth in Ireland. Measures assessing three components of minority stress (sexual identity distress, stigma consciousness, and heterosexist experiences) were administered online to LGBTQ youth aged 16–24 years (N = 301).
Each minority stressor had a significant independent association with distress. Stepwise regression analyses identified the linear combination of minority stressors as significantly predictive of distress [F(3,201) = 30.80, p ≤ 0.001]. Results suggest that the oppressive social environment created through sexual/transgender identity-related stigma negatively impacts on the well-being of LGBTQ youth. These findings have implications for health professionals and policy makers interested in the concerns of LGBTQ youth experiencing difficulties related to minority status and will facilitate the development and tailoring of interventions aimed at reaching those most at risk. Conclusion:
Therefore, the author uses an intersectionality framework to examine how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people evaluate the severity of their violent experiences. Previous research focusing on the severity of anti-LGBT violence has given relatively little attention to race, class, and gender as systems of power. In contrast, results from this study, based on 47 semi-structured, in-depth interviews, reveal that Black and Latino/Latina respondents often perceived anti-queer violence as implying that they had negatively represented their racial communities, whereas white respondents typically overlooked the racialized implications of their violent experiences.
Furthermore, while lesbians of color emphasized their autonomy and self-sufficiency to challenge this discourse, Black and Latino gay men underscored their emotional and physical strength to undermine perceptions that they were weak for identifying as gay. Results also indicate that LGBT people experience forms of anti-queer violence in different ways depending on their social position, as Black lesbians faced discourse that neither white lesbians nor Black gay men were likely to confront. Thus, these findings suggest that topics primarily associated with homophobia should be examined through an intersectional lens. Insight:
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are members of every community. They are diverse, come from all walks of life, and include people of all races and ethnicities, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and from all parts of the country. The perspectives and needs of LGBTQ people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities. In addition to considering the needs of LGBTQ people in programs designed to improve the health of entire communities, there is also a need for culturally competent medical care and prevention services that are specific to this population. Social inequality is often associated with poorer health status, and sexual orientation has been associated with multiple health threats. Members of the LGBT community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers [1-5]. Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBT populations experience, so we must accept whom they are in order for them to realized whom are they.