“We Won’t Go Back into the Closet Now Without One Hell of a Fight”: Effects of the 2016 Presidential Election on Sexual Minority Women’s and Gender Minorities’ Stigma-Related Concerns
- 546 Downloads
Much progress has been made in terms of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) rights. The 2016 United States presidential election, however, raised concerns that this progress could be slowed, if not reversed. We conducted an internet-based study and gathered both qualitative and quantitative data from a national convenience sample to examine how sexual minority women and gender minorities (n = 741) perceived the outcome of the election in relation to stigma-related concerns, perceptions, and expectations. Quantitative analyses of responses collected between December 2016 and the presidential inauguration (January 20, 2017) revealed that participants reported high levels of election outcome-related concerns, including psychological and emotional distress. Qualitative responses centered on the individual-level impacts of the perceived threat of potential increases in structural stigma. Participants raised specific concerns about the possible rollback of rights and the rise in hate speech and discrimination, and the stigmatizing effects of these on LGBTQ and other marginalized populations.
KeywordsSexual identity Gender identity Effects of policies Politics Mixed-methods
We gratefully acknowledge all those who participated in our survey. The authors would also like to thank Lauren Jow for her edits and comments. Research reported in this publication was supported in part by San José State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Columbia University School of Nursing.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Coulter, R. W. S., Kenst, K. S., Bowen, D. J., & Scout. (2014). Research funded by the National Institutes of Health on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. Am J Public Health, 104(2), e105–e112. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301501).CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Creswell, J. W., & Plano-Clark, V. L. (2006). Choosing a mixed methods design. In Designing and conducting mixed methods research (pp. 58–88). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
- Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2018). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
- Everett, B. G., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & Hughes, T. L. (2016). The impact of civil union legislation on minority stress, depression, and hazardous drinking in a diverse sample of sexual-minority women: A quasi-natural experiment. Soc Sci Med, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.09.036.
- Ferguson, A. D., Carr, G., & Snitman, A. (2014). Intersections of race-ethnicity, gender, and sexual minority communities. In M. L. Miville & A. D. Ferguson (Eds.), Handbook of race-ethnicity and gender in psychology (pp. 45–63). New York: Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8860-6_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Frost, D. M., & Fingerhut, A. W. (2016). Daily exposure to negative campaign messages decreases same-sex couples psychological and relational well-being. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430216642028.
- Gallup. (2017a). Life evaluations of LGBT Americans decline after election. (pp. 1–4).Google Scholar
- Gallup. (2017b). US support for gay marriage edges to new high. Retrieved May 28, 2017, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/210566/support-gay-marriage-edges-new-high.aspx
- Hatzenbuehler, M. L. (2017). The influence of state laws on the mental health of sexual minority youth. JAMA Pediatr, 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4732.
- Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2010). The impact of institutional discrimination on psychiatric disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: A prospective study. Am J Public Health, 100(3), 452–459. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.168815).CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Herek, G. M., & Garnets, L. D. (2007). Sexual orientation and mental health. Annu Rev Clin Psychol, 3(1), 353–375. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.3.022806.091510.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Levy, B. L., & Levy, D. L. (2016). When love meets hate: The relationship between state policies on gay and lesbian rights and hate crime incidence. Soc Sci Res, 1–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.06.008.
- Lewis, N. M. (2016). Researching LGB health and social policy: Methodological issues and future directions. J Public Health Policy, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41271-016-0039-7.
- Lincoln, K. D. (2015). Intersectionality: An approach to the study of gender, marriage, and health in context. In Gender and Couple Relationships (Vol. 6, pp. 223–230). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-21635-5_14.
- Major, B., & O’Brien, L. T. (2005). The social psychology of stigma. Annu Rev Psychol, 56(1), 393–421. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070137.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Meyer, I. H., & Frost, D. M. (2013). Minority stress and the health of sexual minorities. In C. J. Patterson & A. R. D'Augelli (Eds.), Handbook of psychology and sexual orientation (pp. 252–266).Google Scholar
- Moradi, B., Wiseman, M. C., DeBlaere, C., Goodman, M. B., Sarkees, A., Brewster, M. E., & Huang, Y. P. (2010). LGB of color and white individuals’ perceptions of heterosexist stigma, internalized homophobia, and outness: Comparisons of levels and links. Couns Psychol, 38(3), 397–424. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000009335263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pew Research Center. (2017). Changing attitudes on gay marriage. Retrieved July 4, 2017, from http://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/
- Reisner, S. L., Conron, K., Scout, N., Mimiaga, M. J., Haneuse, S., & Austin, S. B. (2014). Comparing in-person and online survey respondents in the U.S. National Transgender Discrimination Survey: Implications for transgender health research. LGBT Health, 1(2), 98–106. https://doi.org/10.1089/lgbt.2013.0018.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- SPSS, version 23. (2016). SPSS, version 23. Armonk: IBM Corporation.Google Scholar
- Stone, A. L. (2016). Rethinking the tyranny of the majority: The extra-legal consequences of anti-gay ballot measures. Chapman Law Review, 19(1), 219–240.Google Scholar
- The GenIUSS Group. (2013). Gender-related measures overview. The Williams Institute (pp. 1–10).Google Scholar
- Wang, T., Geffen, S., & Cahill, S. (2016). The current wave of anti-LGBT legislation: Historical context and implications for LGBT health. The Fenway Institute, 1–21.Google Scholar