LGBTQ joy: The influence of community context
AdvisorPearson, Jennifer D.
MetadataShow full item record
Hollingsworth, Bethany. 2023. LGBTQ Joy: The influence of community context. -- In Proceedings: 22nd Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 18
Previous literature studying LGBTQ+ individuals and community involvement has asserted that LGBTQ+ positive community support results in the improved mental well-being of LGBTQ+ youth and adults (Wright, Wachs, and Gamez-Guadix 2022) and less chance of risk factors (Eisenberg et al. 2020; Elmer, Van Tilburg, and Fokkema 2022; Fish et al. 2019; Watson et al. 2020). The purpose of the current study is to investigate what community resources facilitate positive identity and joy. To address these questions, student researchers conducted 8 in-depth interviews, which lasted approximately one hour and included questions about the participants' identities, relationships with community, family, and school, and experiences of joy. We used grounded theory analysis (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) to analyze data from the interviews. Preliminary findings suggest that connecting to the LGBTQ+ community fostered positive identity development and a sense of belonging in participants. Conversely, leaving hostile religious communities also resulted in positive identity development and self-acceptance. These results demonstrate that community spaces that affirm and connect LGBTQ+ individuals encourage identity exploration, resulting in a sense of self-confidence and belonging. However, the negative self-perception experienced within hostile community spaces that reject LGBTQ+ identities may translate into defiance and eventual self-acceptance, resulting in a sense of relief once the individual leaves the community setting.
Presented to the 22nd Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 7, 2023.