Special Issue "LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Melanie D. Otis

College of Social Work, University of Kentucky, 651 Patterson Office Tower, Lexington, KY 40506-0027, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: LGBTQI; social justice and inequality; social movements; gender; diversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2011 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in the United States issued a report entitled The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People (Institute of Medicine, 2011), which offered an extensive examination of the current state of knowledge related to the physical and mental well-being of lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons living in the US. Similarly, in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association-Europe’s (ILGA-Europe) most recent report on the lives of LGBTQ persons, living in various places throughout Europe, similarities and differences in country-specific experiences of survey respondents were identified. While the scope of each of these inquiries suggests a significant increase in scholarship focused on sexual minorities, each also underscored the relative dearth of information available in myriad areas – in terms of substantive foci, sexuality and gender identity similarities and differences, and the scope of the geographic locations represented by study participants. In fact, we know relatively little about what it is like to identify as a sexual minority in many parts of the world, and our understanding of LGBTQ lives, outside of relatively few urban arenas, is limited at best. Notably, even the research that has been conducted in these urban arenas generally fails to consider the specific implications of urbanicity as a potential variable of interest. This reality provides the impetus for this Special Issue.

Specifically, this Special Issue seeks to focus on contextually-oriented factors that impact the lives of LGBTQ persons throughout the world. Manuscripts that would be appropriate for this Special Issue would include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Urban-rural comparison studies that offer a more nuanced in-depth understanding of the relevance of these distinctions in offering meaningful insights into the experiences of LGBTQ persons
  • Studies that contextualize findings within specific spatial and socio-cultural aspects of the environment
  • Cross-cultural studies that focus on contextual differences that influence study findings
  • Impact of the intersection between personal characteristics and spatial characteristics in the lives of L, G, B, T, or Q persons
  • Historical comparative analyses of the relevance of place in the lives of LGBTQ persons
  • Differences in venue-specific presentation of self as sexual minority living in different geographic locations
  • Changes in the meaning/relevance of place in the internet age

Theoretical, empirical, and practice-based studies from a wide range of disciplines including law, sociology, political science, criminology, psychology, anthropology, education, social work, social policy, sexuality, and gender studies, as well as contributions which are cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary are encouraged. Regardless of the approach, the central organizing theme linking these collected works will be the role of place in the lives of sexual minorities.

Dr. Melanie D. Otis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

References:

Institute of Medicine. The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011.

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association-Europe [ILGA-Europe]. “About us.” 2014. Available online: http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/about_us/
what_is_ilga_europe (accessed on 3 March 2015).

Keywords

  • sexual minority
  • LGBTQ
  • lesbian
  • gay
  • bisexual
  • transgender
  • sexuality
  • coming out
  • LGBT rights
  • gender identity

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Internalized Stigma and Psychological Well-Being in Gay Men and Lesbians in Italy and Belgium
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1229-1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041229
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 1 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies have shown that internalized homophobia is a risk factor for mental health illness in homosexual individuals, whereas the perception of social support is a protective factor for their psychological well-being. In line with those studies, the present research has investigated the [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown that internalized homophobia is a risk factor for mental health illness in homosexual individuals, whereas the perception of social support is a protective factor for their psychological well-being. In line with those studies, the present research has investigated the levels of internalized homophobia, anxiety, depression and social support, among two groups of gay men and lesbian individuals living in two European countries (N = 194: 86 Italian and 108 Belgian), where legislations grant different civil rights to lesbian and gay individuals (LG). The main goal of this research has been to verify the possible differences between the two groups. Results showed some significant differences in terms of observed levels of internalized homophobia, which was higher in the Belgian gay men’s group compared to the Italian one. Furthermore, path analysis emphasized the role of social support as a potential factor of mediation between internalized homophobia and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-National Investigation of Health Indicators among Sexual Minorities in Norway and the United States
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1006-1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041006
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 17 October 2015 / Accepted: 23 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A cross-national study of young adult sexual minorities was conducted in order to explore the associations between sexual orientation and measures of depression, suicidality, and substance use. Two nationally representative data sets were explored from the United States (N = 14,335) and [...] Read more.
A cross-national study of young adult sexual minorities was conducted in order to explore the associations between sexual orientation and measures of depression, suicidality, and substance use. Two nationally representative data sets were explored from the United States (N = 14,335) and Norway (N = 2423). Results indicated that sexual minorities experienced multiple health disparities (depression, suicidality, and substance use) compared to their heterosexual counterparts. We found similar patterns of depression, suicidality, and substance use for sexual minorities in both the United States and Norway. The highest odds of substance use were among heterosexual-identified Norwegian youth who reported same-sex sexual activity, and the highest odds of suicidality were found for bisexual young adults in Norway. These findings have implications for how we consider culture and social policy as barriers and/or opportunities for sexual minorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
Trials and Triumph: Lesbian and Gay Young Adults Raised in a Rural Context
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 925-939; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4040925
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rural context at times is characterized by heteronormativity and conservatism. For individuals who identify as a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer), the rural context may pose particular challenges to the development of a healthy, coherent sense of self. Seven [...] Read more.
The rural context at times is characterized by heteronormativity and conservatism. For individuals who identify as a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer), the rural context may pose particular challenges to the development of a healthy, coherent sense of self. Seven young adults (18–24) who identified as gay or lesbian participated in in-depth interviews regarding their experiences coming out in a rural Appalachian context. Findings suggest sexual minority individuals experience both trials and triumphs coming out in the rural context. Two overarching themes and six subthemes are discussed with implications for supporting sexual minority youth in the rural context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
Putting Lesbians in Their Place: Deconstructing Ex-Gay Discourses of Female Homosexuality in a Global Context
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(3), 879-908; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4030879
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The transnational ex-gay movement is an important context affecting lesbians and sexual minority women around the world. In 2015, the UN Human Rights Commissioner called for all nations to ban conversion therapies. This research investigates a neglected area of scholarship on the ex-gay [...] Read more.
The transnational ex-gay movement is an important context affecting lesbians and sexual minority women around the world. In 2015, the UN Human Rights Commissioner called for all nations to ban conversion therapies. This research investigates a neglected area of scholarship on the ex-gay movement by deconstructing and analyzing the implications of ex-gay discourses of female homosexuality in a global context. The ex-gay movement originated in the United States and has proliferated to nearly every continent. We argue that it is the main purveyor of public, anti-lesbian rhetoric today, constructing lesbianism as sinful and sick to control women’s sexuality, enforce rigid gender roles and inequality, and oppress sexual minority women. Guided by Adrienne Rich’s theory of compulsory heterosexuality and Barbara Risman’s gender structure theory, we analyze how, in ex-gay discourse, lesbianism is demeaned and demonized in the individual, interactional, and institutional dimensions of the gender structure. Finally, we examine the impact of ex-gay discourse on sexual minority women in global context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
Reconciling LGB and Christian Identities in the Rural South
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(3), 859-878; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4030859
Received: 27 July 2015 / Revised: 10 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drawing on in-depth interviews with rural Christians living in the South who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB), this study analyzes how they negotiate their religious, geographic, and sexual identities. We find that most interviewees employed two strategies to reconcile their Christian [...] Read more.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with rural Christians living in the South who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB), this study analyzes how they negotiate their religious, geographic, and sexual identities. We find that most interviewees employed two strategies to reconcile their Christian and gay identities: emphasizing a personal connection to an accepting God and finding a local church in their rural community in which they felt accepted. We argue that rural contexts influenced interviewees’ reliance on these strategies and show how individuals can construct multiple interpretations about themselves, which do not always align with existing cultural assumptions. In addition, we argue that gender differences exist with regard to participants’ residential choices and the importance they place on “community”. We find that, in general, women value the privacy and freedom afforded to them in rural areas, a sentiment that is echoed in their religious choices while many of the men value the close knit community they find in their small towns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
LGBT in Turkey: Policies and Experiences
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(3), 838-858; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4030838
Received: 10 July 2015 / Revised: 28 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While LGBT studies have been problematizing normative categories of sexuality primarily in Western cultures, the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in non-Western societies remains understudied. This study examines the political attitudes toward LGBT individuals in Turkish society and explores [...] Read more.
While LGBT studies have been problematizing normative categories of sexuality primarily in Western cultures, the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in non-Western societies remains understudied. This study examines the political attitudes toward LGBT individuals in Turkish society and explores the experiences of transgender individuals. While Turkey holds a strong economic position among Western countries, the situation of sexual minorities lags behind international standards. This study explores two research questions. First, what is the Turkish government’s outlook for the LGBT community? Secondly, what kind of problems and challenges do trans-individuals experience in Turkey? This study first introduces a macro-level analysis of the politics of gender identity in Turkey by analyzing the debates of four deputies in the Turkish Parliament, each representing their parties’ disparate viewpoints. Secondly, a micro-level analysis of previously collected interviews with twenty-five trans-individuals are also examined that shed light on the difficulties of being a trans-individual in Turkey. The content analysis shows that trans-individuals experience physical, sexual, and emotional violence, in addition to experiencing discrimination in employment, housing, and healthcare. The findings of this micro-level analysis elucidate the continuous discrimination, inequality, and violence that these individuals experience, while the macro-level analysis portrays the state’s discriminatory policies toward LGBT individuals in Turkey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
The GSA Difference: LGBTQ and Ally Experiences in High Schools with and without Gay-Straight Alliances
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(3), 563-581; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4030563
Received: 10 July 2015 / Revised: 29 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We examine the lived experiences of high-school students who participated in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)-centered activism of some kind, highlighting the promise of gay-straight alliance groups by comparing the experiences of students at schools with gay-straight alliances (GSA schools) with [...] Read more.
We examine the lived experiences of high-school students who participated in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)-centered activism of some kind, highlighting the promise of gay-straight alliance groups by comparing the experiences of students at schools with gay-straight alliances (GSA schools) with the experiences of students at schools that did not have an LGBTQ-specific group (no-GSA schools). We compare students at GSA and no-GSA schools based on their experiences of harassment, experiences of support from authority figures, and patterns of friendships. We find that students at both types of schools experienced harassment and heard negative comments about lesbian and gay people. However, students at GSA schools reported more support from teachers and administrators than students at no-GSA schools, who have stories of teachers and administrators actively opposing equality for LGBTQ people. Students at GSA schools reported a wide variety of friendships across sexual identities, while students at no-GSA schools felt more isolated and withdrawn. This much-needed qualitative comparative analysis of students’ experiences brings a human face to the improved quality of life that schools with gay-straight alliances can bring to young people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
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