Belonging and sexual citizenship among gender and sexual minority youth
Something like one in four young Australians are likely to experience serious mental health difficulties, disrupting education, relationships and work. Young people from gender and sexual minorities are especially prone to anxiety, depression and, in the worst case, suicide. Many of these problems are attributable to rejection at home, in school, and in the community.
Despite this, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people successfully navigate the challenges of adolescence and attain similar levels of health and well-being as their heterosexual peers, despite the stigma and discrimination encountered. Central to success in such transitions is ‘sexual citizenship’, whereby individuals come to appreciate themselves as having equality before the law, as trustworthy, as deserving of respect, and as having the right to ‘belong’ – by participating in a range of practices including work and study, building families, and contributing to social networks and national cultures through volunteering and other forms of service.
But what is it that supports young people in this process, and what are their interests and needs?
The project will incorporate policy analysis, historical, archival, textual and online research together with individual interviews and focus groups with two different generations of gender and sexual minority youth: those of the 1970s generation, who were between 16-25 years old in 1995, and their counterparts twenty years later aged 16-25 years growing up today.
Who do I contact if I want more information on the study?
If you would like more information on the study, please visit the study website.
Australian Research Council Discovery Project
Associate Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen (Australian National University); Associate Professor Rob Cover (University of Western Australia); Dr Daniel Marshall (Deakin University)