Title

An Exploration of LGBTQ+ Community Members’ Positive Perceptions of LGBTQ+ Culture

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Counseling Psychologist

Volume

48

Issue

7

Publisher

Sage Publications, Inc.

Publication Date

6-25-2020

First Page

1016

Last Page

1047

Abstract

Although a large body of literature addresses sexual and gender identity development, little research has focused on definitions, conceptualization, and identification with LGBTQ+ culture. Fourteen LGBTQ+ emerging adults (age 20–25 years) with a diverse array of intersecting identities participated in semi-structured individual interviews aimed at exploring the construct of LGBTQ+ culture. Five of the 14 participants also participated in focus groups to further explore the conceptualization of LGBTQ+ culture that was identified in the individual interviews. Participants described the LGBTQ+ culture as a culture of survival, acceptance, and inclusion. Most participants reported a sense of pride and importance in identifying with the broader LGBTQ+ culture and believed it was beneficial in their identity development. A multidimensional conceptualization of LGBTQ+ identity development was proposed to understand the multiple levels of identifying as a marginalized sexual and/or gender diverse individual. We discuss implications for practice, education, and training.

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