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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Overcoming Stigma through Resilience in LGBTQ Communities - Daniel Elleker, Andre P. Grace, Elizabeth Saewyc

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Overcoming Stigma Through Resilience in LGBTQ Communities:

Abstract #82
The Family Resilience Project: Linking Research to Advocating for Gender Minority Youth
Presenter: Andre P. Grace
This paper considers how gender identity is increasingly conceived as a multivariate construction that cannot be contained by the male-female binary. It positions growing into gender as an intricate ecological process impacted by history, social expectations, acculturation, geography, and politics as well as by individual reaction and resistance to any or all of these influences. This revision of what gender can be challenges us to rethink what it means to be gender healthy. This paper examines how we use an emergent resilience typology at the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services in my university to help us navigate comprehensive health dynamics impacting gender nonconforming and trans-spectrum youth. It provides a synopsis of knowledge building about stressors, risk taking, asset building, and indicators of thriving as they relate to this youth population. It uses an ecological framework that surveys complexities impacting how gender minority youth grow into resilience. It considers how our resilience typology innervates purpose and action in our Family Resilience Project, which includes individual and family counselling, a parent/significant adult support group, a trans and gender questioning youth support group, and professional development for workers who focus on meeting the comprehensive health needs of gender minority youth.

Abstract #172
Change in Internalized Homophobia Severity Over Time in Young Gay and Bisexual Men: A Mixed Methods Study of Resilience
Presenter: Daniel Elleker
Background: Internalized homophobia resolution (IHR) has been proposed as a resilience process experienced by many gay and bisexual men, in which high levels of internalized homophobia (IH) decrease over time.
Methods: Six young men were recruited from a small urban area. IH was quantitatively assessed retrospectively relative to three time periods, using the Internalized Homophobia Scale (IHP). An in-depth qualitative interview explored participants’ lived experiences of change in IH across development, and factors perceived to be related to such changes.
Results: Results converged to the extent that all participants experienced declines in IH. Two superordinate themes emerged from qualitative analysis 1) Changes in IH are highly contextual, non-linear, and continuous; and 2) Resilience is experienced as an active and self-directed process. Participants described IH as fluctuating in ways that were contingent on both external and internal events, resulting in small to large changes in IH that were either temporary or enduring.
Conclusions: The construct of IHR is problematic, as it reifies IH as a pathological condition in and of itself, and in so doing abstracts the experience of IH from the sociocultural conditions that produce and maintain it. Qualitative findings point to more nuanced understandings of change in IH over time, which are consistent with a social ecological model of resilience. Implications for research, theory, and program development are discussed.

Abstract #242
Promoting Resilience Among Sexual Minority Adolescents: Buffering Enacted Stigma, Suicide Attempts With Supportive Relationships
Presenter: Elizabeth Saewyc Co - Presenter: Kallista Bell
Sexual minority (gay, lesbian, bisexual) youth face significant health inequities vs. heterosexual peers, including suicide attempts, primarily due to higher rates of victimization and discrimination (enacted stigma). What protective factors in environments and relationships attenuate that link? From the 2008 BC Adolescent Health Survey (N=29,513) we focused on sexual minority students (~5%), conducting multivariate logistic regressions to calculate the predicted probabilities of past year suicide attempt based on varying combinations of key risk factors (physical assault at school, sexual abuse, sexual orientation discrimination) and protective factors (family and school connectedness, perceived safety at school) separately by gender and orientation group. When youth reported all 3 types of violence, and low levels of all 3 protective factors, the probability of suicide attempt was high (males: 75% gay, 63% bisexual; females: 52% lesbian, 72% bisexual). When they reported no violence and high levels of the protective factors, probabilities were much lower (2% to 9%). Even among students with all 3 types of enacted stigma, when they also reported high protective factors, probabilities were sharply lower (e.g., gay boys, 75% to 29%, bisexual girls, 72% to 14%). Supportive relationships appear to reduce the probability of suicidality, even for stigmatized sexual minority youth.

avatar for Andre Grace

Andre Grace

University of Alberta
André P. Grace, PhD is Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Studies (Tier 1) and Professor and Director of Research at the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Canada. He is co-founder of Camp fYrefly... Read More →

Daniel Elleker

Daniel is currently completing his MSc in Counselling Psychology at the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Western Resilience Network, and completed his research with the Resilience Research Lab at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC. Daniel is pursuing a research... Read More →

Elizabeth Saewyc

A Professor of Nursing and Adolescent Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Dr. Saewyc heads the interdisciplinary Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre. She is a Fellow in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the Canadian Academy... Read More →


Kallista Bell

Graduate Student at Simon Fraser University

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Shatford Room A&A 2nd Floor, King's College

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