LGBTQ+ youth experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic as observed through gender-sexuality alliances
Keywords:LGBTQ+ youth, COVID-19, resilience, minority stress, gender-sexuality alliance
Many of the factors that put LGBTQ+ youth at risk for poor mental health outcomes before the COVID-19 pandemic were exacerbated by the period of home confinement during the pandemic. The following exploratory study investigated the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth during the pandemic as perceived by Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) advisors. In October-November 2021, recruitment began for a qualitative survey shared via a closed Facebook group for GSA advisors in a Midwestern state, in addition to an email sent by a nonprofit supporting GSAs in that state. Advisors were asked to complete the survey in reference to their experience facilitating these school clubs from March 2020-March 2021, a period during the pandemic that saw the highest number of restrictions around home confinement along with schools moving to a virtual format. Findings included themes reflecting impacts of the level of caregiver acceptance on access to support, youth engaging in support-seeking behaviors, and enhancements and challenges of virtual meetings. Implications for social work intervention are shared, focusing on supporting caregivers on a path toward acceptance of their child and advocating for policies that transform the culture and the conversation from whether LGBTQ+ youth can exist as themselves in some spaces, to fully embracing their identity as valued members of society.
Copyright (c) 2023 Angela Baerwolf
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
CC BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator
NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
SA – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms