The Experiences of Stigma Expression of Lgbt+ Youth: From the Feelings of Guilt to the Liberation Strategies

Authors

  • Aistė Zakarauskaitė Vytautas Magnus University, Public Institution "Stebėk teises"

Keywords:

LGBT community, stigma, liberation, social work with LGBT youth

Abstract

The challenges faced by the LGBT+ community are a new topic in the field of social work in Lithuania. LGBT+ youth face stigma in their immediate environment and society, which takes form of discrimination, bullying, violence, and exclusion. Therefore, it is important to analyse the experiences of stigma expression and liberation strategies of LGBT+ youth. The aim
of this article is to reveal the expression and experience of stigma from the perspective of LGBT+ youth and to discuss social work possibilities with LGBT+ youth. The article is based on the results of a qualitative study conducted in Lithuania in 2023, in which 13 LGBT+ youth participated. The data obtained during the interviews were transcribed and analysed using constructivist grounded theory according to Charmaz’s stages of coding: primary, focused, and axial coding. The study revealed that heteronormative attitudes prevailed in the environment of LGBT+ youth. Young people heard comments and stereotypes denigrating the LGBT+ community in families, schools, and churches. The study revealed that stigmaexperiences in the family were prominent at the time of coming out, and parents associated the LGBT+ identity with parenting mistakes. Stigma
experiences led to stigma internalization: feelings of guilt, shame, and a desire to change oneself. LGBT+ youth noted stereotypes in the healthcare system and highlighted the importance of ensuring human rights, such as
the legalization of partnerships. Accordingly, the support of other people and the representation of the interests of LGBT+ youth are important for reducing stigma in society. In summary, social work possibilities for advocacy and inclusive support of the LGBT+ community at the macro level can be identified.
 

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Published

2023-10-08

How to Cite

Zakarauskaitė, A. . (2023). The Experiences of Stigma Expression of Lgbt+ Youth: From the Feelings of Guilt to the Liberation Strategies . Socialinis Darbas: Patirtis Ir Metodai / Social Work: Experience and Methods, 2(30), 31–57. Retrieved from https://ejournals.vdu.lt/index.php/SWEM/article/view/5121