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Purpose: This chapter explores the role of life course transitions, personal networks, community, and social support in the physical and mental health of LGBTQ+ elders…
Purpose: This chapter explores the role of life course transitions, personal networks, community, and social support in the physical and mental health of LGBTQ+ elders. Specifically, we review the literature on formal and informal supports and resources available to LGBTQ+ elders as they age.
Methodology: We use an intersectional lens that explores dimensions of social identity and social location among diverse subpopulations within sexual and gender minority (SGM) elders. We outline the implications of access (or lack of access) to formal and informal care for SGM elders' physical and mental health and well-being in late life. We examine the availability of these supports in the context of broad inequalities and life events that structure the life course for LGBTQ+ elders and have long-term health implications.
Findings: Our findings from this review demonstrate how social factors over the life course shape SGM mental and physical health later in life for aging LGBTQ+ populations. We reflect on how strained relationships and lack of acceptance compel some to seek alternative sources of support and relationships. Our analysis uncovers individual and institutional sources of support: personal social networks and formal spaces, such as healthcare settings, that connect elders with resources to develop social support and avoid social isolation.
Implications: The implications of our review reveal the unique needs and barriers to practical and social support that SGM older adults face. We explore alternative supports that LGBTQ+ elders need compared with their heterosexual cisgender peers, given the disproportionate rejection they face in a range of public and intimate spaces. We conclude by identifying and celebrating sources of support and resilience as LGBTQ+ elders have crafted alternate support networks and advocated for increased recognition, rights, and care.
Originality and Value: Despite some recent flourishing of research in SGM health, a road map for scholars, practitioners, and community members outlining future research in understudied areas such as LGBTQ+ aging and transgender health would help advance scholarship and policy. Our commentary highlights quantitative and qualitative studies and suggests avenues for research that put in conversation literatures on rural studies, urban sociology, and social networks; gerontology; health; and gender/sexuality studies.
Perspectives on gender, gender expression, sexuality identity, and sexual orientation differ within and between generations given the great extent to which these concepts…
Perspectives on gender, gender expression, sexuality identity, and sexual orientation differ within and between generations given the great extent to which these concepts are embedded within social, cultural, and historical context. Across contexts, questions of authenticity are critical. This research compares generational perspectives about authenticity, gender and gender-related constructs, and sexuality. Through semi-structured interviews with a nonprobability, purposive sample of heterosexual and LGBTQ younger (aged 18–22) and older (aged 65+) adults, how a sense of authenticity is experienced and the degree to which individuals experience authenticity around sexual and gender identities are compared. Data were analyzed using the constant comparison method of analysis, and results indicate that while younger adult respondents held expansive terminology and knowledge related to sexual and gender identities, older adult participants lacked such fluidity, and that lack was an inhibiting factor in older adults being able to name and embody their authentic sexual selves. In conclusion, both position in one’s life course (age) and one’s generational cohort (historical, cultural, and social context) influence how individuals experience authenticity around gender and sexual identities.
The purpose of this study is to highlight the experiences and issues of an overlooked demographic: older LGBTQ + adults in the US, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic…
The purpose of this study is to highlight the experiences and issues of an overlooked demographic: older LGBTQ + adults in the US, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows the authors to explore possible changes in policy and practice regarding the management of the pandemic with attention to elderly LGBTQ.
Building on the authors’ experience in disaster research and a study of older LGBTQ + adults in the San Francisco Bay Area, the authors analyze key trends in COVID-19 pandemic management while drawing lessons from the AIDS epidemic.
The authors have found that LGBTQ + people, especially older and transgender individuals, have unique experiences with hazards and public safety and healthcare professionals and organizations (e.g. heteronormative care, traumatic insensitivity, deprioritizing essential treatments as elective). Second, older LGBTQ + adults' perceptions of state responses to pandemics were heavily influenced by experiences with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. And third, experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic have important implications for preventing, responding to and recovering from future epidemics/pandemics.
The authors point to two parallel implications of this work. The first entails novel approaches to queering disaster prevention, response and recovery. And the second is to connect the management of the COVID-19 pandemic to the principles of harm reduction developed by grassroots organizations to suggest new ways to think about contagion and organize physical distancing, while still socializing to take care of people’s physical and mental health, especially the more marginalized like elderly LGBTQ + people.
The chapter compiles a glossary of key lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) terms and concepts relevant in the twenty-first century that a progressive…
The chapter compiles a glossary of key lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) terms and concepts relevant in the twenty-first century that a progressive librarian and information professional should be aware of. These are categorized based on gender, sex, and gender identity; sexual and romantic orientation; LGBTQ+ rights and social justice; and outdated and offensive terms. It also briefly explores support for LGBTQ+ patrons through library-based scenarios and provides the contemporary professional important questions to consider in response to the difficult situations represented. Finally, the chapter provides a listing of 25 American LGBTQ+ web-based resources with annotations for librarians to become LGBTQ+ allies. These are categorized according to LGBTQ+ advocacy, youth, legal issues, policy and research, and libraries and archives.
Health disparities affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) populations have been reported in many countries. For Singapore, no large quantitative…
Health disparities affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) populations have been reported in many countries. For Singapore, no large quantitative studies on mental health and well-being in the local LGBTQ community have been published. The authors conducted a community-based survey (National LGBT Census Singapore, 2013; NLCS2013) that covered a comprehensive set of demographic, social and health indicators. Here, the authors investigated mental health status and its correlates in 2,350 LGBTQ individuals within the NLCS2013 sample.
The NLCS2013 was an anonymous online survey conducted amongst self-identified LGBTQ adults (aged ≥ 21 years) residing in Singapore. The survey included the World Health Organisation Well-being Index (WHO-5) as a measure of mental well-being, with low WHO 5 scores (<13/25) indicating poor mental well-being. The authors analysed relationships between low WHO-5 score and a range of respondent characteristics using multivariate logistic regression.
Strikingly, 40.9% of 2,350 respondents analysed had low WHO-5 scores, indicating poor mental well-being. Parental non-acceptance, experience of conflict at home and bullying/discrimination in the workplace or educational environments were all significantly associated with poor mental well-being. Conversely, community participation appeared protective for mental well-being, as respondents who participated in LGBTQ community organisations or events were less likely to have poor mental well-being than non-participants.
The NLCS2013 represents one of the first broad-based efforts to comprehensively and quantitatively capture the sociodemographic and health profile, including mental health status, within Singapore’s resident LGBTQ population. These findings affirm the need to address the mental health needs of LGBTQ individuals in Singapore and to foster safe spaces and allyship.
Since the mid-1800s, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been educating a majority of Black Americans. These 105 institutions serve more than 300,000…
Since the mid-1800s, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been educating a majority of Black Americans. These 105 institutions serve more than 300,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from diverse backgrounds, various socio economic levels, and academic achievement levels. And, it is important that they continue on this challenging journey of addressing the unique needs of the HBCU student by becoming more efficient and focused on their program offerings with minimal state support and shrinking federal funding. Further, systems mandates, board governance, affirmative action, and civil unrest oftentimes camouflage the historic role of the HBCU. Questions arise as to the relevance of these historic institutions when the student, faculty, and staff demographics begin to shift in an effort to compete for the quality and quantity of students enrolling at majority institutions. It is imperative that we continue having crucial conversations surrounding the essence of this challenge. Diversity is our strength and a reality that should not be ignored. What better institution to exemplify inclusive excellence than a HBCU? This chapter will address how these historic institutions can continue to celebrate their legacy while embracing the rich dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Books serve as important information resources and provide space for reflection and identity-building for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning …
Books serve as important information resources and provide space for reflection and identity-building for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) people. Many in this community have experienced reduced feelings of isolation through engagement with the writings of others. Providing a safe space for such engagement is vital. Library and information science (LIS) professionals are in an optimal position to meet such needs, particularly when efforts are made to implement changes based on explicitly expressed concerns.
This chapter provides a case study of the LGBTQ Center of Durham, North Carolina, to illustrate how the organization is integrating the local LGBTQ+ community into its library by using the community’s own vocabulary and interests to inform the center’s practices and policies. The chapter also offers a guide to the locally responsive, LGBTQ+-specific classification system created for the LGBTQ Center of Durham’s library collection. This classification system was designed to represent library materials for its Durham and surrounding-area users in a useful, accessible, and respectful manner – a feat that the library committee did not feel could be accomplished using existing classification systems.
Building on the case study for applicability, the author makes recommendations for how LIS professionals who wish to better serve LGBTQ+ users can incorporate the community into their library and/or collection. The author provides additional suggestions for action, with varying levels of commitment, for library professionals and volunteers. Through resource development, training, collection development, and classification revision, libraries can more closely align their practices with the needs of users of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
Social justice themes permeate the social studies, history, civics, and current events curricula. The purpose of this paper is to examine how non-fiction trade books…
Social justice themes permeate the social studies, history, civics, and current events curricula. The purpose of this paper is to examine how non-fiction trade books represented lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and issues.
Trade books published after 2000 and intended for middle grades (5-8) and high school (9-12) students were analyzed.
Findings included main characters’ demography, sexuality, and various ancillary elements, such as connection to LGBTQ community, interactions with non-LGBTQ individuals, the challenges and contested terrain that LGBTQ individuals must traverse, and a range of responses to these challenges. Publication date, intended audience, and subgenre of non-fiction – specifically, memoir, expository, and historical text – added nuance to findings. Viewed broadly, the books generally engaged in exceptionalism, a historical misrepresentation, of one singular character who was a gay or lesbian white American. Diverse sexualities, races, ethnicities, and contexts were largely absent. Complex resistance structures were frequent and detailed.
This research contributes to previous scholarship exploring LGBTQ-themed fiction for secondary students and close readings of secondary level non-fiction trade books.
Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality have long been known to be elevated among LGBTQ+ communities and it was expected that the COVID-19 pandemic would deepen…
Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality have long been known to be elevated among LGBTQ+ communities and it was expected that the COVID-19 pandemic would deepen systemic injustices and inequities in mental health outcomes. However, it remains difficult to document inequities as surveillance systems do not typically capture LGBTQ+-inclusive data necessary to study the impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ+ population health. This chapter reports on two studies designed to address this gap. The COVID-19 Impacts Study (CIS) documented the early mental health and social impacts of COVID-19 among sexual and gender minority adults, as well as adults with HIV, during the first round of shut-downs and initial economic disruptions. Subsequently, the Youth and Young Adults COVID-19 Study (YYA) measured the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health outcomes, testing/vaccination behaviors, and stigmatization experiences of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) young people. Several recommendations are discussed – including mandated collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity in all surveillance systems, policy solutions to better address access and cost barriers, and deep and meaningful engagement that empowers communities.
This chapter focuses on ways libraries can ensure the services and collections they provide do not exclude bisexual people and indulge in the “bi erasure” that is…
This chapter focuses on ways libraries can ensure the services and collections they provide do not exclude bisexual people and indulge in the “bi erasure” that is otherwise so prevalent in society. The authors share best practices for public, academic, and school libraries to add bisexual/pansexual titles to their collections, as well as provide programmatic tips that include the larger bisexual/pansexual community. Most importantly, the authors highlight community partners, advocacy organizations, or non-profits that can serve as potential collaborators as librarians brainstorm programming for bisexual/pansexual patrons. This chapter also contains staff training guidelines and resources for creating a more welcoming environment for bisexual/pansexual patrons. The chapter concludes with a list of resources that will help librarians make more inclusive collections’ decisions and resource guides. It’s purpose is to help libraries better serve bisexual/pansexual patrons who are undoubtedly already library users.