Date of this Version
Nguyen, D. M., Holland, K. J., & Willis-Esqueda, C. 2022. Experiences of Intersectional Identities and Community Bias: Obstacles to Identity Development, Identity Integration, and Well-being for LGBTQ+ People of Color. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2022.
Objective: Intersectionality refers to having multiple social identities, which influence experiences, social interactions, and well-being. For individuals who carry multiple stigmatized identities, well-being is a heightened challenge. Much of current literature does not distinguish between the experiences of LGBTQ+ Whites and people of color (POC). The purpose of this research is to understand 1) differences in LGBTQ+ Whites and POC conceptions of racial identity and meaning, 2) differences in sexual and gender identity based on race, 3) how types of expectations and biases present differently in LGBTQ+ Whites and POC communities, 4) how race/ethnicity impacts LGBTQ+ identity development, 5) how experiences can support or limit the extent to which LGBTQ+ people can integrate separate identities, 6) and the implications for well-being. Method: LGBTQ+ individuals age 17 and older were recruited to complete a demographics survey and a qualitative interview (n=21). Results: Results indicate that there are differences in the conceptualizations of racial, sexual, and gender identity. Race plays a significant role in the development of LGBTQ+ identity for POC. Further, LGBTQ+ POC experienced varying degrees of belonging and discrimination within their communities. These issues presented implications for identity integration and well-being. Conclusions: Our findings suggest discrimination and bias, community, identity, and well-being must be understood in the context of multiple identities. While research that primarily includes gay, cisgender, and/or White individuals provides useful insights into the LGBTQ+ community, it is imperative that future research on queer and trans people integrate race as a factor.