LGBTQ Research Symposium

June 2-3, 2022 | Virtual Event, Fully Online

Theme: Pleasure is Power

Keynote Presenters: Dr. D-L Stewart & Dr. Blu Buchanan

In 2022, we celebrated 10 years of providing researchers an opportunity to present their work, discuss challenges and opportunities & network with others conducting LGBTQ+ research across disciplines. As a celebration of this important milestone, our theme of “Pleasure is Power” encouraged us to consider the ways that LGBTQ+ communities embody and cultivate pleasure, strength & resilience, including the pleasure and strength of intersectional movements, healing as resistance & envisioning future queer scholarship through a pleasure lens.

2022's virtual event featured all the aspects we love about previous symposia—live presentations and posters, pre-recorded presentations, panel discussions, networking events & creative presentation formats. We also went bigger with two keynote speakers, two methods workshops, and we brought back awards! 

rainbow colors, words "Pleasure is Power" and "LGBTQ Research Symposium"

Symposium Schedule

June 2, 2022

9:00 - 10:00 AM

Session A. Quantifying Queerness

Dr. Jason Garvey, University of Vermont

Embodying queerness in research is oftentimes contradictory to the process of conducting quantitative studies. Quantitative queer scholars are concerned with rethinking and reimagining quantitative methods while also embracing post-structural perspectives and advocating for justice through quantitative research. In this presentation, Dr. Garvey will discuss the tensions inherent within quantitative queer methods and will provide examples through their own research team, QTPiE: Queer and Trans People in Education.

Methods Workshop sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work.

10:15-11:15 AM Concurrent Sessions

Session B. Research Presentations: Gender And Body: Lived Experiences of Embodiment & Research

  1. The Phenomenon of Trans Phantoms

    S.J. Langer, Taymy Josefa Caso, Louisa Gleichman

    Trans phantoms are bodily sensations of gendered body parts that a person was not born with (i.e. a phantom penis is experienced by a transman).  We theorize that this is analogous to aplasic phantom sensation, which is experienced when a person is born without a body part or limb (Langer, 2014). Despite evidence of phantom penis presence in 62% of trans men (n=29), there is a lack of research in this area particularly with a larger sample (Ramachandran & McGeoch, 2008).   We conducted an online survey of phantom experience across the trans spectrum which found that this is a much more common experience in trans and nonbinary people.

    The purpose of our studies is to gain knowledge of phantom body experiences, and the relationship between such experiences and perception and consciousness. These are the first systematic studies among TGNB people focusing on examining subjective experiences of phantom penises in order to understand the nuance and multidimensionality of these phenomena.  We also provide a prevalence estimate of trans phantoms across embodiment.  

    The first study on trans embodiment and tracks the prevalence of trans phantoms in a large (n=1398) online survey.  Our questions were related to how and what subjects felt within their bodies. These included subjective experiences of interoceptive sensitivity such as hunger, need to use the bathroom, breath, temperature and pain.  700 subjects across TGD identities reported experiencing the sensation of a gender-affirming body part that they were not born with. These included phantoms across various body parts such as lips, breasts, vagina, hips, penis, testicles.  

    The second study was qualitative, semi-structured interviews about phantom experiences to facilitate building our theory and data in concert with the trans community. We received an overwhelming number of responses through an online screener and had a sample of 615 to choose from for the interviews.  This allowed us to have a diverse sample of 26 trans masculine participants based on race, age, SES, gender identity, education level and other demographic characteristics. 

    Given the relevance and prevalence of these experiences (phantom embodiment) and the dearth of literature in this area, more research is needed to further elucidate and contextualize these experiences. We encourage prioritizing community-based participatory action research methodologies to increase the visibility of these experiences in a way that influences pedagogy, education, training, and clinical work. We also propose clinical guidelines for inquiring about and utilizing phantom sensation in improving mental health and medical treatment with TGNB people.

  2. Choosing how people view me is so liberating”: 2SLGBTQ+ people’s accounts of gender pleasure

    Will Beischel

    Gender is often framed by culture and science as primarily a source of privilege and/or oppression. Narratives by 2SLGBTQ+ people have poignantly highlighted experiences of victimization and discrimination tied to backlash against their gender expression and/or identity. Social scientists have also extensively researched sexism, transphobia, gender dysphoria, and other negatives. But one’s gender might also bring joy and affirmation. In this presentation, we describe a new construct we call “gender pleasure,” or positive affective experiences related to one’s gender. We also present data from a focus group study with 2SLGBTQ+ people diverse by race/ethnicity (N = 64). Participants recounted experiencing gender pleasure from modifying their bodies, managing their appearance, being in community with people of shared experiences, and more. These data also made clear that gender pleasure is greatly facilitated by environments that allow for freedom of expression and existence. We conclude by highlighting the value of focusing on joy and thriving among marginalized communities.

  3. Lessons Learned From Conducting Online Focus Groups of Transgender and Nonbinary Adults

    Anna Brown

    The public is becoming more aware of issues related to gender identity, and more Americans than ever before report knowing people who are transgender or nonbinary. Still, fewer than half of U.S. adults say they personally know someone who is transgender (42%) or who uses gender-neutral pronouns (26%). A healthy public dialogue on issues of gender identity must include the voices of transgender and nonbinary Americans, but representative surveys of this population are often cost prohibitive because less than 1% of U.S. adults are transgender. Focus groups are one way to learn more about the nuanced experiences and views of transgender and nonbinary people.

    This presentation will share lessons learned from a robust online focus group study of adults who told us they are transgender or nonbinary, from the recruitment process to facilitation to analyzing the findings. Because this is a group that faces unique challenges in terms of legal recognition, discrimination, and social acceptance, special care must be taken to protect the participants’ identities and to ensure that they feel comfortable sharing openly and honestly. The presentation will also detail the steps taken to create an atmosphere that is respectful and sensitive to the participants’ needs while producing research that is rich in detail and insight.

Session C. Research Presentations: Countering Erasure and Rewriting Scripts: Intersections of Blackness and Queer Identities

  1. Whose Streets? Understanding Sexual Minority Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement

    Eric Swank, Breanna Fahs

    Using a “political distinctiveness” lens, this study tested the claim that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people valued the goals and tactics of Black Lives Matter (BLM) more than heterosexual people did. Using a sample of currently enrolled college students (N=89), the study also tried to explain why a possible sexuality gap (that is, discrepancy in participation between heterosexuals and sexual minorities) for BLM support and involvement existed. Through a set of multivariate regressions, we concluded that sexual minority support of BLM was influenced by sexuality differences in group memberships, commitments to activism, and emotional bonds to people of color. Exposure to diversity courses in college and lesbian/gay communities, along with identifying as a queer person of color, increased BLM support but they were not a significant force behind greater BLM activism for sexual minorities. We included suggestions for how social justice allies can support anti-oppressive social movements in an impactful and just manner, and how gender and race interact with sexual identity in support for activism. 

  2. Black, Queer and Downloaded: On the Rise of Black Queer Social Media Influencers

    David Green

    This talk discuss the rise Black Queer people on social media, situating them collectively as "black queer social media influences." I discuss how black queer social media influencers are occupying digital spaces to re-write scripts of race, gender, and sexuality while disrupting the logic of racial technologies that seek to erase them (and all black people through what's called "shadow banning"). What I theorize as "black queer algorithms," black queer social media influencers are disrupting racial technologies and late + neo-liberal capitalism attached to media cultures. Instead of calculations that work, over time, to abstractly include or erase black people, these technologies come to depend on black queer people. This reliance, I argue, keeps social media spaces en vogue, while simultaneously allowing for these creators to thrive with and against demands of blackness and homonormativity that works to constrain them. Black queer social media influencers, I contend, must be appreciated for both their "purchasing power" and cultivating ways to radically live and thrive as black queer people. 

  3. Silence Matters: Messages of Affirmation v. Erasure for Black LGBTQ+ students attending HBCUs

    Briana Williams

    Historically Black colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been characterized as both liberating and potentially hostile spaces for Black students who also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer+ (LGBTQ+). The erasure of Black LGBTQ+ people from the history and legacies of HBCUs has been linked to exclusionary ideology like respectability politics and intragroup marginalization. In recent years, HBCUs have become increasingly more attentive to the concerns of LGBTQ+ students but the potential for invisibility still persists. Mosley and colleagues (2019) completed a content analysis of the webpages for APA-accredited University Counseling Centers (UCCs) and found significant erasure of Bisexual+ people of color, along with other LGBTQ+ students of color.  The purpose of the current research is to replicate and extend Mosley et al., (2019) to the exploration of HBCU Counseling Centers as potential sites of erasure for Black LGBTQ+ students. Guided by Neuendorf’s (2011) six-step guide, we will examine message data provided on UCC websites. Content sources will include individual counseling services, identity-based group counseling, staff interests/specializations, resource links, and visual symbols of LGBTQ+ affirmation. Based on the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 102 colleges that are identified by the U.S. Department of Education as accredited and currently operating HBCUs. Three criteria determined exclusion from the current study: (a) two-year institution (b) program-specific college (e.g., Morehouse School of Medicine) (c) no webpage found for an internal office dedicated to psychological or emotional health services. The final sample includes 72 HBCUs. The following factors will be coded to examine Institutional differences: religious affiliation, UCC staff size, locality, public v. private, percentage of Black students, and Campus Pride rating (i.e., extent of LGBTQ+ inclusion). Study findings will reveal the extent of LGBTQ+ affirmation v. erasure communicated by Counseling Centers at HBCUs. Implications may be relevant to the directors of University Counseling Center (UCC) at HBCUs to further improve current practices.

11:30-12:30 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session D. Panel Presentation:

The Power of Storytelling: Building Increased Visibility and Support for LGBTQIA + People in Sport

1 CEU available

Bernadette (Bernie) Compton, Aiden Kraus, Travis Scheadler

The sport world has seen an increased number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other gender and/or sexual minority (LGBTQIA+) athletes and coaches come out over recent years (Hardwicke et al., 2021). While some sport spaces have integrated inclusive policies specific to LGBTQIA+ individuals, there still exists varying environments that are unsafe and not supportive of LGBTQIA+ athletes (Krane, 2016). For example, multiple state lawmakers are introducing anti-transgender bills that would prohibit transgender youth from participating in sport (Lavietes, 2022). The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recent updated transgender policy also fails to promote trans-inclusion in collegiate sport (Barnes, 2022). With that being said, the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals in sport can vary from inclusive to exclusionary. LGBTQIA+ activists in sport continue to challenge current operational systems and call for inclusive practices and policies that make sport accessible for all without strict limitations or rules. Members of one sport profession with a unique opportunity to advocate for LGBTQIA+ inclusion are sport psychology professionals (Krane, 2016). Sport psychology professionals often work to support athletes’ mental game in sport, but also focus on building team connection and culture, which can include LGBTQIA+ inclusion.  In the following panel presentation, three graduate students within sport psychology and mental health will share stories in sport as LGBTQIA+ individuals and the connections to building inclusive practices and policies. The importance of storytelling has been a place of strength, healing, and connection for all three presenters as they continue to envision future scholarship and activism for LGBTQIA+ people in sport. 

The first presenter will share her experiences growing up as a youth athlete in the south and the importance of visible LGBTQIA+ people in sport. They will provide ways to promote visibility and support for LGBTQIA+ people in sport at different levels of sport and exercise. The second presenter will share the need for mental health support for LGBTQIA+ athletes and building more inclusive environments on college campuses. They will offer suggestions for coaches and administrators on the integration of mental health support. The final presenter will share their experiences of how both college and community-based adult sport have attempted to create affirming environments but have fallen short. They will identify strategies to improve sport experiences of LGBTQIA+ people. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for leaders in sport and exercise environments to build LGBTQIA+ inclusion policies and practices that create an inviting and accepting space for everyone. 


Session E. Research Presentations: Voices and Experiences of LGBTQ+ Youth

1 CEU available

  1. “My parents broke me” and other research poems on the individual and collective victimization, trauma, resilience, and power among transgender and gender diverse youth

    M Greenwood, Rey Flores, Megan Paceley, Isaac Sanders, Jacob Goffnett, Patricia Sattler

    Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth face an onslaught of victimization growing up, including stigmatizing language, discrimination, and physical and sexual assault (Garthe et al., 2021; Johns et al., 2019; Paceley et al., 2020; Reisner et al., 2015). While research demonstrates the deleterious impact of victimization on TGD youth (Bariola et al., 2015; Grossman & D’Augelli, 2007; Paceley et al., 2020), we lack studies that illustrate TGD youth resilience and promote affective understandings of their victimization experiences. Queer scholars posit that creative research methods used in data collection, analysis, and/or dissemination, can challenge stigma and oppression and evoke an emotional response when used with queer and TGD populations (Jen & Paceley, 2021). One such method is a research poem—a creative re-presentation of participant’s words and experiences in the form and style of a poem. 

    Building on the work of other scholars, we suggest that poetry can also emphasize the powerful nature of how TGD youth navigate stigmatizing contexts and victimization. In this study, we utilized a series of research poems to re-present TGD youths’ victimization experiences in order to capture and share their intimate, contextualized, and powerful stories. Nineteen TGD youth were interviewed about their experiences growing up within their families, schools, and communities with a focus on external and internalized stigma, discrimination, and victimization, as well as resilience. During the analysis and dissemination phases, the research team of queer and TGD scholars captured key phrases and quotes; then organized them into a series of poems that tell individual and collective stories of victimization and survival. 

    Our presentation will briefly provide context by sharing the literature on TGD youth victimization, the purpose of research poems in queering and understanding TGD youth victimization, and a description of the study and youth participants. We will then share four research poems that emote individual and collective stories of victimization and trauma related to families, religion, and intersecting identities, as well as resilience. We will close by sharing the process of creating research poems in a multidisciplinary research team consisting of both cisgender queer and TGD scholars. 

  2. The Impact of Religiosity and Race on Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: An Empirical Application of Racialized General Strain Theory

    Spencer Lawson, Christina DeJong, Skyler Morgan

    The complex and conflicting meaning of religiosity in LGBTQIA2S+ individuals of marginalized racial/ethnic identities produces injurious effects on physical and mental well-being. One deeply concerning consequence of the influence of religion on individuals with multiple subordinated identities is suicide risk (Chu et al., 2010; Haas et al., 2010); yet significantly less is known regarding the impact of the intersection of sexual orientation, religion, and race/ethnicity on suicide risk. We address this issue by drawing on a racialized general strain theory perspective (Isom Scott & Grosholz, 2019). Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we examine these factors on a sample of youth who were in grades 7-12 in 1995-1996 (Wave I of the study). They were asked about suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior in Wave II (one year later, in 1996), and sexual orientation in Waves III (2001-2002) and IV (2008). Of the 13,570 youth who responded in Wave II, 13.5% (N=1,481) indicated they were not 100% heterosexual in adulthood. Preliminary bivariable comparisons indicate that: (1) Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth report significantly higher levels of suicidal ideation than 100% straight youth, and are more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth (with bisexual teenagers being the most likely to make a suicide attempt); (2) LGB youth with Asian or Native racial identities are more likely to have thought about suicide than other racial groups, and Mixed race and Native LGB youth are more likely to have made suicide attempts; and (3) religiosity may increase the probability of suicide ideation and attempts for LGB youth, but decrease the probability of such behaviors for 100% heterosexual youth. Our research will continue by addressing how strains differentially impact youth of color, as well as the differential impact on LGB versus heterosexual youth. Implications will be discussed for staff and volunteers of suicide prevention programs, as well others who work with LGB youth.

  3. Movement as an Avenue to Joy: Examining Physical Activity and Stress in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth from an Intersectional Lens

    Gio Iacono, Emily Loveland, Ryan Watson


    Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY), particularly SGMY of color, are often overlooked in research and clinical practice, yet they experience significant health and mental health disparities (Dysart-Gale, 2010; Russell & Fish, 2016). Transgender and non-binary youth experience mental health disparities at an even higher rate (The Trevor Project, 2021). These disparities may be influenced by the structural discrimination SGMY face that is unique to their sexual and/or gender identity, understood in the literature as minority stress (Meyer, 2003). However, there are documented approaches, such as physical activity, that may help buffer stress levels and build resiliency among SGMY (Gillig, 2019; Litwiller, 2018). Engaging in physical activity can be a pleasurable way to help SGMY find joy while reducing stress and connecting to community. This study builds on the existing literature to examine how physical activity can buffer against stress for SGMY, particularly across ethno-racial, sexual and gender identities. 


    A survey tool was developed, in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign, which included SGMY (n = 12,005) ages 13-17. Participants reported diverse sexual and gender identities. Regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between fourteen SGMY subgroups, ethno-racial identity, and the dependent variables — levels of stress and exercise.


    Results indicate that Cisgender Assigned Male at Birth (AMAB) SGMY were overall significantly more likely to be able to manage stress better. Transgender Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB) groups were significantly less likely to manage stress. Compared to SGMY who identified as white, SGMY who identified as biracial or multiracial, other ethno-racial identity, and Middle Eastern/Arab reported being significantly more stressed. Even when controlling for ethno-racial identities, engaging in exercise was critical to managing stress levels across all sexual and gender identities.


    While legal and systemic advocacy is crucial to improving the lives of SGMY over time, in the interim there is a great need to address immediate stressors and health disparities experienced by this vulnerable youth population. There is an opportunity to engage SGMY in movement and physical activity to better manage stressors. Results suggest that the act of engaging in physical activity is critical to stress reduction for SGMY. Physical activity (e.g., running, yoga, organized sports) can be a joyous way to engage with and create community, building both pleasure and power. However, interventions aimed to expand physical activity opportunities for SGMY must be mindful of creating safe(r) and inclusive spaces, such as considering the use of bathrooms and locker rooms, “gendered” gym spaces, or activities that glorify or obsess over body image. Implications for clinical practice and research with SGMY will be explored.

This is a space of community, support, and networking specifically for transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse individuals. 

1:00-2:30 PM Welcome & Keynote Speaker

Session F. Welcome & Keynote Speaker

Anonymous Pleasures: Massed Bodies, Consent, and Queer Futures

Dr. Blu Buchanan, University of North Carolina Asheville

1 CEU available

Although mainstream conversations around consent tend to be focused on relationships, and harm, between individuals this talk aims to start from a different orientation. Moving away from an individual framework, I call for a serious consideration of the queer architecture of consent within our spaces - what preempts and precedes enthusiastic consent between partner(s).

Building from this orientation, I argue that addressing harm when (not if) it happens requires us to act intentionally around a community basis for both consent and accountability. Instead of erasing power imbalances between individuals, I argue that consent and healing are only possible when addressing the structural conditions that produce the possibility of harm. I end with suggestions for transforming our spaces by engaging with the principles of collective behavior and queer structures of consent.

Keynote sponsored by University of Kansas Women Gender & Sexuality Studies and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign School of Social Work

2:45-3:45 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session G. Research Presentations: Healthcare and Service Access Environments

(1 CEU available)

  1. Creating a welcoming environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals in nonprofit organizations

    Seth Meyer

    How do we make sure that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+)  are receiving supports and services which celebrate and understand the unique aspects of queer culture? The research in nonprofit studies around LGBTQIA+ issues has been limited (Larson, 2021; Meyer, Dale, & Willis, 2021;  Ng & Rumens, 2017). There are few roadmaps to help nonprofits support LGBTQIA+ peoples and communities (Meyer et al., 2021). This study helps fill this hole in the literature by exploring the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals in nonprofits, with a specific focus on homeless shelters, sports clubs, and houses of worship.

    The LGBTQIA+ community has a unique culture that differentiates itself from the heterosexual and cisgendered cultures (Alderson, 2016). This study challenges the heteronormative assumptions that LGBTQIA+ individuals have the same lived experiences as their heterosexual and cisgendered counterparts. It focuses on the unique aspects of queer culture, which is influenced by how LGBTQIA+ individuals understand their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and the way sexual orientation and/or gender identity impacts everyday life. To better understand queerness in the queer community, this study explores the unique experiences of sex workers, open and polyamorous families, and found families.

    This study explores the use of nonprofit services by. LGBTQIA+ individuals and which best practices can be used to support LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. Through this study, I aim to produce interdisciplinary research which will help support nonprofits who want to make their organization more welcoming to LGBTQIA+ people, and establish best practices which nonprofits can use to support LGBTQIA+ individuals, and those with intersectional identities in particular. 

  2. Intersectional Model of Service Use: Understanding Transgender and Non-Binary Healthcare Access

    Jarrod Call, Brendon Holloway

    Background and Purpose:

    Transgender and nonbinary (TNB) people experience negative health outcomes across multiple domains (e.g., Alzahrani et al., 2019; Baral et al., 2013; Grant et al., 2011), and 40% of TNB people report a lifetime suicide attempt (James et al., 2016; Testa et al., 2017). Although TNB people need healthcare services at similar or higher rates than their cisgender counterparts (Xavier et al., 2013), many have difficulty accessing general and TNB-specific healthcare services such as hormone therapy, gender affirming procedures, and gynecological care as a result of the systemic forces of transphobia and cisgenderism (Ehrenfeld et al., 2018).


    A literature review was conducted to identify studies exploring TNB healthcare access. A total of 3,063 articles were screened for inclusion, resulting in a final sample of 42 articles that met the scoping review criteria. These articles were analyzed in full, with specific focus on theoretical frameworks used. Strengths and limitations of the chosen theoretical framework were coded and used to inform the development of the Intersectional Model of Service Use (IMSU) for TNB people.


    The IMSU, (visual model complete, but unable to attach in this form), builds upon current theoretical frameworks, including the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations (BMVP; Gelberg et al., 2000) which proposes that predisposing, enabling, and need factors drive healthcare utilization among vulnerable populations. The BMVP was initially developed for predicting healthcare utilization among people experiencing homelessness (Gelberg et al., 2000), and little research has applied it to TNB people. The IMSU addresses this gap by building on the general predisposing, enabling, and need factors of the BMVP by adding primary barriers and facilitators to TNB healthcare access identified through this scoping review. The IMSU also adds an intersectionality component to highlight the primary ways that multiple marginalized identities impact one’s ability to access services.

    Conclusions and Implications:

    The IMSU framework as applied to TNB healthcare access provides a heuristic model for teaching future social workers to grapple with the complexity of factors that play a role in service usage. Although research is needed to test the utility of the IMSU framework as applied to explaining healthcare access for TNB people, the findings from the review suggest its effectiveness in informing interventions aimed at improving healthcare access among TNB people. The IMSU is a flexible framework that can be deployed to understanding many aspects of service usage beyond healthcare access, and its structure holds promise in future applications to many marginalized populations as well as to intersectional experiences.

  3. Do No Harm? The Ethics of Gatekeeping Transgender Care

    Raine Dozier

    The Affordable Care Act offered unprecedented access to insurance coverage for transgender care, yet situated insurers as the primary gatekeepers of care. This talk considers whether restricting access to transgender-related care by insurers violates biomedical ethical principles regarding avoidance of harm, self-determination, informed consent, and equity and justice. The study used data from semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 30 female-born trans and nonbinary individuals in the United States who were seeking or had top surgery. Participants were diverse in socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, age, location, and gender identity, and were mainly recruited through social media. The presentation will incorporate the direct words of participants to illustrate their experiences seeking insurance coverage.

    Participants reported a range of experiences in seeking insurance coverage for top surgery, from relatively straightforward to arduous processes that resulted in denial or considerable delay. They documented numerous barriers to care including inability to afford insurance, lack of standardization of requirements across insurers, inability to access insurer requirements, burdensome and unnecessary standards, requiring a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and refusal to cover particular aspects of care. Additional costs related to therapy, supplementary charges for nipples, and burdensome copays kept care out of reach for some. The inability to access insurance coverage resulted in significant suffering and sometimes long delays in care. 

    The development of unnecessary and burdensome requirements violate ethical standards by compromising self-determination and informed consent, harming individuals by withholding care, and promoting inequality. Insurers sustain healthcare inequities based on socioeconomic status, age, and race/ethnicity because access is influenced by the ability to navigate complex, and sometimes arbitrary, systems and the economic resources to fulfill requirements. In addition to medical costs, patients must cover the costs of transportation, childcare, and loss of work time. Participants with skills in navigating systems or who had a formal or informal navigator were more likely to receive treatment and, also, successfully appeal denials. 

    Restrictions by insurers violate ethical principles by inhibiting self-determination, compromising informed consent, and harming a vulnerable population. Healthcare providers are bound to uphold biomedical ethical principles and, as an integral aspect of healthcare, insurers should be held to the same standard. 

Session H. Research Presentations: BIPOC Populations and Intersections of Multiple Marginality

1 CEU available

  1. Working with BIPOC LGBTQ+ People in Urban Centers: Reflections on Queer Research in New Jersey  (CANCELLED)

    Danielle Shields, Maren Greathouse

    American LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) youth appear to be perfunctorily exposed to trauma and victimization during their day-to-day lives at home, in school, and in public compared to their heterosexual and/or cisgender peers (Button, 2019).  Due to additive and multiple forms of marginalization produced by their uniquely oppressed identities, these harmful processes may be “compounded” (Lardier et al., 2020, p. 76) for LGBTQ+ Youth of Color.  However, despite an overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Youth of Color among the total population of LGBTQ+-identified youth (Eisenberg et al., 2017), inquiries into their lives have been limited in breadth and scope (Panfil, 2018).  In response to these gaps, our presentation focuses upon LGBTQ+ high school students—a significant proportion of whom identified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)—from New Jersey who were surveyed to gauge their general well-being across a variety of indicators, including:  anti-LGBTQ victimization at school, substance abuse, sexual victimization and intimate partner violence victimization (IPV), and mental health symptomology.  We will also discuss the challenges that accompany doing this work, including strategies for forming partnerships with community agencies who have been crucial in doing community-based survey research with LGBTQ+ populations, including LGBTQ+ minors (Panfil et al., 2017).  We will conclude our presentation by outlining the implications of this important work as well as recommendations for future research in this area.

  2. I should have been born different: LGBTQ+ Latinx experience holding multiple minoritized identities

    Javier Garcia-Perez

    Exposure to discrimination in both its overt (e.g., hate crimes, assaults) and covert forms (e.g., microaggressions, internalized stigma) has been empirically linked to negative mental health outcomes in minoritized populations. Yet, little is understood about the impact of belonging to multiple minoritized identities individual community members hold. Thus, the aim of this study is to build knowledge from the individual perspective on the multiple minoritized experiences LGBTQ+ Latinx experience to inform further research and potential interventions to support improvement in mental health outcomes for this unique population. Individual semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted October 2020 to January 2021 via Zoom with participants who reside in California, were 18 and older, self-identify as a member of both a sexual minority group (e.g., queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) and identify as Latinx or a variation of the Latinx identity (e.g., Latina/o, Chicana/o, Hispanic). Recruitment was conducted via a snowball sampling method initiated with a recruitment email sent to 95 LGBTQ and Cultural resource centers across California. Interviews lasted approximately one-hour, were recorded, and transcribed for data analysis using ATLAS.ti version 8.5. A total of 9 interviews were conducted with participants ranging from 22-43 in age. 5 participants identified with masculine pronouns, 3 with feminine pronouns, and 2 with gender neutral pronouns. 5 participants are current university students ranging from undergraduate to graduate and 4 participants are working professionals working in a range of careers. Although experiences varied across the sample, four emerging themes surfaced. They are: (1) policing; (2) single-identity; (3) cis lens; and (4) navigating multiple context. Participants shared a common experience of their behavior, thoughts, presentation, and desires being policed. These instances were often emphasized and mixed with cultural and societal norms. Intern, participants were often viewed and forced into a single-identity often not chosen by them. This was usually produced through a cis lens. Lastly, participants expressed the difficulty of navigating multiple contexts. Initial results may provide a foundation for practitioners to support the population. Culturally responsive and community grounded interventions for LGBTQ+ Latinx individuals could counter policing of identities from within community and outside community. Continuing to emphasize intersectionality and the nuances of identity could support LGBTQ+ Latinx fully experience their multiple identities. Despite the small sample size, emerging themes offer a foundation to further research. Particular attention should be placed on individual strengths to build a strengths-based framework to support community mental health. Lastly, further research is necessary to better encourage mental health providers to support positive mental health outcomes. 

  3. Exploring Regret Amongst Older Gay Men: Spotlight on BIPOC Participants

    Matthew Myrick

    This qualitative study examined the regret experiences of gay men, age 65 and older. A review of relevant literature, especially the work by Janet Landman (1993), revealed regrets common to individuals, especially older adults. The regrets identified were: 1. Regrets of action [Sins of commission (Things done)] and 2. Regrets of inaction [Sins of omission (Things not done)]. However, the experience LGB (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) older adults is often understudied (Leyva, Breshears, & Ringstad, 2014). Older gay men experience the social biases and attitudes that occur at the intersection of homophobia and ageism (Levy, 2001). There is a need for gay-affirming aging services that are both culturally competent and sensitive to the distinct needs and experiences of older adult gay men (Leyva, Breshears, & Ringstad, 2014).

    Using a semi-structured interview format, twenty-three men volunteered to participate in the study (N= 23). Analysis and coding of the interview transcripts revealed six major themes of regret experiences. These themes are 1. Regrets about personal relationships (interpersonal regrets), 2. Regrets about being gay in a heterosexist culture (interpersonal regrets), 3. Regrets about sexual experiences (both interpersonal and intrapersonal regrets), 4. Regrets about career/ education (intrapersonal regrets), 5. Regrets about aging (intrapersonal regrets), and 6. Regrets about psychological coping abilities (intrapersonal regret). Both regrets about being gay in a heterosexist culture and aging may be unique to the participants in the study, but all the regrets were shaped by the experience these participants had over the course of their lives as gay men in a heterosexist culture. Studying regret with older adult gay men may serve to prevent and/or address regrets the participants are experiencing. Social work professionals can use the information presented in this study to examine if they are reinforcing a heterosexist or ageist culture in practice. 

4:00-5:00 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session I. Research Presentations: Autoethnographic and Reflexive Accounts of Trans Identities in Research

  1. "A Cluster of Trans Rage": The Experiences of Trans Individuals Working on Research Projects Led by Cis PIs

    Brendon Holloway


    Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) individuals experience high rates of discrimination and victimization in workplaces, and face underemployment and unemployment rates that surpass those of their cisgender peers (Movement Advancement Project, 2013). These experiences cut across different sectors of workplaces and include university settings (District of Columbia, Office of Human Rights, 2015). 

    Even though social work values state that schools of social work engage with diversity and difference – including gender identity and expression (CSWE, 2015) – and should likewise be committed to transgender students (Craig et al., 2014), social work programs are not immune to being environments that are experienced as unsupportive for TGD individuals. For example, in a national study of LGBTQ social work students, less than 35% indicated that their program was a friendly context for transgender students (Craig et al., 2015).

    While the emergence of an increasing number of trans-identified scholars and educators has been documented in several disciplines (Jourian, Simmons & Devaney, 2015; Nicolazzo & Jourian, 2020), little attention has been given to the training and supervision of TGD individuals in research contexts and even less to the experiences of TGD individuals working on trans-related research projects most often led by cisgender scholars. Given identity and structural power dynamics that exist in these research contexts between cisgender and TGD researchers, this study examines the lived experiences of TGD individuals on research teams with the goal of enhancing awareness among cisgender researchers on strategies to foster and support the growth of emerging TGD scholars. Additionally, the strategies identified extend to other mentoring relationships including those in social work supervision and education.


    Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants who identified as TGD and who had worked on a research project led by a cis individual within the past 2 years. All research projects had to be trans-focused, that is the TGD population had to be the primary sample of the study. The study used a phenomenological approach to better understand the essence of a shared lived experience (Padgett, 2017), in this case the experience of TGD researchers reflecting on their experiences and interactions with cis PIs.


    Participants identified as transgender, nonbinary, and genderqueer with four participants identifying as White and two as Asian. All study participants had worked trans-related research projects led by cis PIs within the past two years. Themes that emerged include: (1) identity-based harm, (2) positive experiences with cis PIs, (3) support from TGD community members and, (4) recommendations for cis PIs on fostering a more trans-affirming environment. 

    Recommendations from the TGD participants include the following: (1) hiring multiple TGD people on research projects; (2) consulting with TGD people during all aspects of designing and implementing a research project; (3) gaining an awareness of nonbinary pronouns to avoid misgendering; and (4) recognizing cis privilege and how to use one’s cis privilege to genuinely uplift the perspectives and lived experiences of TGD researchers. 


    In conclusion, findings indicate that TGD researchers face significant challenges when working on trans-related research projects led by cis PIs. However, these challenges can be effectively addressed by understanding and implementing recommendations identified by the TGD participants in the study. The recommendations have wide applicability in contexts where structural power differences position cis individuals to supervise the work of TGD individuals including research projects, in practice settings, in social work supervisory relationships, and in social work classrooms. 

  2. Injustice, grief, interdependence & personal growth: The many landscapes of COVID-19 in trans and non-binary communities in the U.S.

    Sid Jordan, Yucca Westrup, Kelly Ducheny, Nat Ross, Bo Hwang

    Background: In early 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally interrupted daily life and changed the ways that many people lived, worked, and took care of their basic needs. In the United States, researchers have explored some of the uneven consequences of the pandemic on LGBT people as a whole, yet far less is known about the distinct impacts on transgender and non-binary (TNB) people. Four Corners is a network of healthcare providers, community members, and researchers committed to TNB health research that is accessible, beneficial, and relevant to TNB communities. The Four Corner team designed a participatory research study to investigate the social, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic on TNB people. We also approached the study as part of our ongoing work to study health research priorities, ethics, and values as/with TNB people.

    Methods: This study was led by TNB people at every stage of the process from design, to data collection to analysis. During the design phase, we generated a data collection plan reflective of one of Four Corners’ core values: building community. We created areas of inquiry and a semi-structured interview guide through an iterative process of brainstorming, feedback, and practice. We conducted 30 interviews in English and Spanish on Zoom between February and June of 2021 with participants across the U.S. Participants were relatively diverse in terms of their educational backgrounds, age/generation, gender identity, and the majority were Black and Indigenous people and other People of Color (75%). The data analysis stage was participatory and TNB-led. After developing a preliminary analytic framework, we hosted a “member checking session” to review our provisional findings, solicit feedback, and, most importantly, ensure we were honoring and carefully listening to the participants who took the time to share their stories and experiences with us. Eighteen of thirty participants (60%) attended the member checking session. 

    Findings: Our analysis resulted in four thematic findings. Participants described 1) amplified injustices, including direct and indirect forms of discrimination, a reduced sense of safety especially those working in service-based sectors, and inequities in the distribution of public health resources and care; 2) coping with a “cloud of grief” that had exacerbated stress and isolation; 3) shifting social worlds and relationships in ways that had increased a sense of belonging and deepened relationships for some; and 4) unexpected opportunities for personal growth, self-awareness, and transformation. In addition, participants emphasized the need for health research that is TNB-led, responds to multiple forms of marginalization, is shared back with TNB communities, and fairly values participants' contributions. 

    Discussion: During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and prior to the widespread availability of vaccines, TNB participants reported how isolation, loss, and grief were exacerbated by gender, racial, economic, and other social injustices. Yet, many said that life in quarantine had also opened up positive possibilities for change in how they spent their time, what they prioritized, and how they experienced interconnection, pleasures, and joy. The by-and-for research design resulted in a process that team members and participants said contributed to their community connectedness during the pandemic, modeling in practice one of the central actionable recommendations from this study. 

  3. Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) workers in cis-lead environments: An autoethnographic analysis

    Rey Flores, Cameron Liebert, Lou Weaver

    Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people are often marginalized(1), experiencing high rates stigma and discrimination across multiple platforms.(2) A 2015 national report in the US with 27,715 TGD adults found that 30% of TGD workers reported being fired, denied a promotion, or experienced other forms of gender discrimination or transphobia in their place of employment.(3) Many TGD people hide their trans-identity to protect themselves, about 77% of people reported taking active steps to avoid discrimination in the work place by delaying or hiding their gender transition.(3) Work environments are often highly gendered through language, uniforms, bathrooms, and other organizational norms leading to unsafe and unwelcoming settings(2,4–6); there are currently 18 states in the US that have no explicit prohibitions for discrimination based on gender identity.(7) This exploration looks to reflexively analyze the lived experience of TGD-identified researchers and social service workers working in an academic and/or non-profit settings, where little literature exist on their job satisfaction and employment outcomes. The power of story drives change as our accounts present the data that formulate theories, measurement tools, and policies. We utilized a layer account approach for autoethnography.(8) We analyzed our own lived experiences as TGD workers in conjunction with relevant literature related to TGD job satisfaction and well-being, supplementing with LGBTQ populations as necessary. From these experiences three major themes have emerged: (1) accountability in collaborative spaces, (2) the importance of having a supportive network, and (3) the ability to have uncomfortable conversations impact TGD worker satisfaction and well-being. These findings demonstrate that while there are areas of improvement, TGD folks engage in protective behaviors to mitigate negative job and health outcomes. This preliminary analysis exemplifies the need for continual examination of organizational and interpersonal dynamics of TGD and cis-gender people in the workplace.

Session J. Research Presentations: Social Work and Counselling Education

1 CEU available

  1. How some faith-based accredited social work programs discriminate against LGBTQ+ students and staff: A thematic analysis of school materials

    Daniel L Cavanaugh, Kristen Prock, Cristy Cummings, Dre Aersolon, Christopher Russo

    Intro: Discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons at private faith-based institutions is a well-documented problem. However, how this discrimination manifests at Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited schools of social work within these institutions is unclear. This presentation will discuss the second phase of a research project that aims to describe discrimination towards LGBTQ+ persons, as well as any protective factors present at these institutions or schools of social work. Phase 1 assessed religious-affiliated accredited schools of social work (n=191) for discriminatory policies; Phase2 explores discriminatory and protective elements through qualitative analysis of content gleaned from the publicly available institution and school of social work websites. In exploratory interviews, instructors and administrators have described schools of social work as safe spaces for LGBTQ+ community members; this study explores whether the evidence supports this claim.

    Background: For decades there have been calls for the CSWE to stop providing accreditation to schools that cite religious exemptions to justify discrimination towards LGBTQ+ students and staff (Jones, 1996). More recently, researchers have found that religious exemptions are widely used to continue to discriminate against LGBTQ+ persons (Dentato et al., 2016). Additionally, discrimination and microaggressions are associated with increased mental health symptoms in LGBTQ+ identified college students (Gnan et al., 2019; Woodford et al., 2018). Currently, there is a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Education related to discrimination experienced by LGBTQ students at schools citing religious exemptions (REAP, 2021)

    Methods: A qualitative thematic analysis was conducted to review publicly available content on LGBTQ+ discrimination and inclusion at religious institutions (n=47). Sample inclusion criteria included a CSWE accredited social work program, evidence of discriminatory policies towards LGBTQ+ students, and publicly available student and faculty handbooks. The researchers created and utilized a website evaluation form to collect content related to discriminatory policies, inclusive/protective content, LGBTQ+ class content, LGBTQ+ research from faculty, and LGBTQ+ campus resources. Thematic analysis was conducted to describe the content collected. To increase the trustworthiness of the data the researchers used investigator triangulation (3 investigators), researcher reflexivity, and negative case analysis.

    Results: Emerging qualitative themes include belief expression, belief expression with support, belief expression with punishment, absence of LGBTQ+ content, ambiguity towards the LGBTQ+ community, grassroots supports outside of university systems, and support with condemnation.

    Discussion/Implications: It is troubling to observe the amount of blatantly discriminatory policy aimed at LGBTQ+ persons within student and faculty handbooks at CSWE accredited schools. This content is in direct contrast with social justice mandates within the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics that professional social workers are bound to. Recommendations include the creation of LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces within these programs to offer a level of protection to community members who are vulnerable to overt discrimination, increased participatory action research from social work scholars that can amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ community members who are harmed by these policies, as well as policy advocacy from both the NASW and CSWE to end these religious exemptions that support ongoing discrimination.

  2. Engaging Students in a Bisexual Child-Parent Dyadic Client Simulation

    Tee Tyler, Ashley Franklin

    INTRODUCTION: This presentation reviews a recent study involving an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) with 18 bachelor students. This OSCE included standardized actors representing an adult bisexual child and their parent. This study focused on evaluating students’ communication skills, while documenting students’ self-efficacy immediately after simulation. This presentation highlights the importance of training students to serve bisexual and LGBTQ community members to prepare students to provide affirming health services to all LGBTQ community members after they graduate.

    BISEXUAL COMMUNITY: Bisexual community members represent the largest group of sexual minorities in the United States (Herbenick et al., 2010). Bisexual individuals face health disparities beyond that of lesbian and gay individuals. For example, they experience greater mental health risks than lesbian or gay individuals (Kertzner et al., 2009). Indeed, bisexual individuals experience anxiety, depression, and suicidality at higher rates than gay, lesbian, or heterosexual people (Dodge & Sandfort, 2007; Kertzner et al., 2009). They also often experience prejudice (Israel & Mohr, 2004), including monosexism, which is the belief that everyone should feel attracted to people of only one gender (Bradford, 2004). Bisexuality is understudied compared to gay and lesbian identity research (Scherrer & Woodford, 2013). 

    OSCE SIMULATIONS: OSCEs adapted for social work represent an innovative method educators can use to provide a competency-based formative assessment of students’ ability to serve diverse client populations (Lu et al., 2011). Bogo et al. (2014) created the OSCE adapted for social work to assess students’ direct practice skills in simulations. Researchers use the OSCE adapted for social work to assess and positively influence a variety of different health practice skill areas, including the integrated behavioral health skills of social work students (Sampson, 2018). No OSCE adapted for social work studies have yet explored dyadic simulations within a bisexual identity context. This current study addresses this gap in research literature and documents how an OSCE improves students’ abilities to serve bisexual community members.

    STUDY FINDINGS: Licensed social workers rated 18 students’ OSCE performances. Raters completed evaluations while observing the OSCE from the client simulation room. On average, participants reported lower self-efficacy for working with bisexual individuals and their parents. Participants reported more self-efficacy related to assessing societal influences on interpersonal communication. We will share a full report of our study findings with attendees during the presentation.

    COUNSELING EDUCATION: This study contributes to the field of counseling education by providing initial evidence for use of an OSCE with bisexual adult child-parent dyads as a formative learning activity for university counseling students. Attendees will learn how to administer a dyadic OSCE to enhance students opportunities to serve LGBTQ populations.

  3. Preparing Students for Counseling Transgender Children and Their Parents

    Tee Tyler, Ashley Franklin

    INTRODUCTION: Nineteen social work students participated in a dyadic client simulation with transgender individuals and their cisgender parents, and they received lower performance scores compared to a similar group of students engaged in a simulation with bisexual child and parent dyads. This presentation reviews research findings with recommendations for client simulation activities to better prepare novice counseling students to serve transgender children and their parents.

    CHILD AND PARENT: Transgender individuals can experience discrimination from parents (Kosciw et al., 2014). Rejection of gender identity by parents links with poor mental health outcomes for transgender individuals (Turban & Ehrensaft, 2018), yet few studies explore the parents’ experiences (Coolhart et al., 2018). Parents may experience a sense of loss after the transgender child’s disclosure (Coolhart et al., 2018). Some parents may experience uncertainty before they accept their child’s transgender identity (Gregor et al., 2015). Research is needed focused on preparing  counseling students to serve the needs of transgender children and their family members, especially their parents.

    RESEARCH METHODS:  We conducted a one group descriptive study. Professional actors played the roles of a transgender individual and their cisgender parent. We recruited 19 junior level social work students to participate in this study. Evaluation involved five licensed social workers rating students’ performance by using the OSCE for Social Work Practice Performance Rating Scale (Bogo et al., 2014). Each rater scored students’ performance on 10-items according to a five-category rubric. We used four subscales representing how students develop and use a collaborative relationship, conduct an eco-systemic assessment, set the stage for collaborative goal setting, and demonstrate cultural competence. 

    RESEARCH RESULTS: These 19 students completed the OSCE-SW study protocol. Total scores on the Performance Rating Scale ranged from 22 to 40 with a mean of 31.6 out of 50 possible points. Students in the transgender client simulation scored lower on the Performance Rating Scale compared to a similar cohort in a similar client simulation with bisexual adults and cisgender parent dyads. We will share a full report of study results with the presentation attendees.

    COUNSELING EDUCATION: Dyadic transgender-focused client simulations can benefit undergraduate and graduate counseling education programs. Transgender issues remain largely absent from counseling education, resulting in practitioners who are uninformed or biased towards transgender-specific concerns (Austin et al., 2016). Assisting health care students to develop skills to effectively serve transgender community members and their families may improve their ability to challenge binary-gender definitions in their practice (Burdge, 2007). Dyadic transgender client simulations prepare counseling students to provide services with increased empathy for transgender children and their families. 



5:15-6:45 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session K. Roundtable Discussion

Queering Trauma-Informed Support for LGBTQIA+ Students in Postsecondary Education

1 CEU available

Jason Lynch, Chelsea Gilbert, Jax Lastinger

Within the U.S, 40% of youth are likely to have experienced one or more traumatic events before they turn 18, with Black youth experiencing rates as high as 60% (Jamieson, 2018). Once on campus, students continue to be at risk of experiencing a range of traumatic life events. In one study, 40% of student affairs practitioners at four-year institutions reported supporting students through traumatic life events on at least a monthly basis (Lynch & Glass, 2018). These statistics are concerning, as numerous studies have indicated the negative impact of trauma exposure on outcomes including academics, social mobility, and health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019).  

Trauma may be defined as an event or circumstance that overwhelms one’s capacity to cope (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2014). Acute traumas may include incidents of abuse or sexual violence, poverty, disasters, severe mental health issues, racism, etc. (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.).  When this inability to cope significantly impacts a person’s day to day functioning, it may be classified as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013); however, not all experiences of traumatization may meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Instead, individuals exposed to first-hand or secondary trauma (Lynch & Glass, 2018; Figley, 1999) may demonstrate one or more trauma exposure responses including fear, anger, guilt, perfectionism, minimization, hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, sleep disturbance, exhaustion, dissociation, irritability, inability to embrace complexity, decreased empathy, diminished creativity, avoidant behavior, and grandiosity (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; van Dernoot Lipskey, 2009). 

Additionally, there are several factors that have been linked to increased likelihood of traumatization. For example, Perry’s (2007) pattern of stress model suggests that as stressors become unpredictable, extreme, and prolonged, individuals are more likely to experience traumatic stress; conversely, stressors that are predictable, moderate, and perceived to be controllable lead to resiliency. Additionally, factors such as loss of resources or lack of access to resources (Hollifield et al., 2016) and decreased sense of psychological safety (Ahmed, Zhao, Faraz, & Qin, 2020) may also lead to, or exacerbate, traumatization. Linked to psychological safety (Edmondson, 2002; Vracheva, 2017), trust in others and social support are also key mechanisms that inhibit or exacerbate the experience of trauma (Cox, Resnick, & Kilpatrick, 2014; King, Taft, King, Hammond, & Stone, 2006) As students navigate their own trauma exposure responses, it is imperative to gain a better understanding of the extent of these responses as they may play a significant role in the ways they learn, navigate institutions, and engage with each other.

Unfortunately, most studies investigating the impact of trauma exposure on college students excludes specific focus on students with Queer identities. This roundtable will begin by presenting data on LGBTQ+ students from a recent study on trauma-informed practices at Appalachian State University (Lynch & Wojdak, 2021). However, the majority of the roundtable will engage participants in a conversation to unpack how cis-heteronormativity potentially clouds understanding of LGBTQ+ student experiences of trauma, as well as how to create trauma-responsive environments to support LGBTQ+ who have experienced traumatic life events.

Session L. Panel Presentation

Reflecting Together on the Pleasures (and Pains) of LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue

1 CEU available

Nic M. Weststrate, Karen Morris, Adam Greteman, Britta Larson, Marti Smith, Phyllis Johnson, Rick Velon, H Lawson, Casey Knepley

For many years, we—a lesbian cultural anthropologist, a gay philosopher, and a gay developmental psychologist—have been struck by the disconnection expressed by our LGBTQ+ students from the LGBTQ+ histories, cultures, and people who came before them. At the same time, we learned through our service work with LGBTQ+ older adults, how forgotten and isolated they feel from the LGBTQ+ communities they helped to create. Feeling both pain in this knowledge and pleasure at the notion of coming together as an intergenerational LGBTQ+ community, an idea began to sparkle in our minds. Positioned as we were, we recognized that we could do something about the several social, psychological, and geographical barriers that have kept generations of LGBTQ+ people apart. We began to wonder: What would happen if we brought LGBTQ+ elders and LGBTQ+ youth together into intentional, meaningful, and sustained dialogue around topics central to their histories, cultures, and lives? For three years now, this question has been at the heart of an ongoing community-based ethnographic research project and educational experiment called The LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project.

Since 2019, we have partnered with the Senior Services Program at the Center on Halsted—the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ+ community center—to bring together racially, socioeconomically, and gender diverse cohorts of LGBTQ+ younger and older adults for storytelling, dialogue, collaborative art-making, and shared meals. For three years, cohorts of approximately 30 LGBTQ+ youngers and elders have engaged in biweekly dialogue sessions, each over 9 months, that have centered on themes significant to our participants and LGBTQ+ communities broadly. The intention of these dialogues has been to collaboratively explore similarities and differences in our understandings of and experiences with these themes, both within and across generations, and to harness the pleasure and power of intergenerational connection to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ youngers and elders alike. We have documented this work in scholarly publications (e.g., Greteman, Morris, & Weststrate, 2021; Morris, Greteman, & Weststrate, 2022) and on a website co-created by our community ( 

In this panel presentation, members of our intergenerational community will reflect together on the pleasures, the pains, and the power of The LGTBQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project. Panelists include the co-founders of the project, our community partner, and elder and younger project participants. The panel will be moderated by one of the project facilitators. 

Together, and through our various lenses, we will jointly reflect on the following prompts, while also creating space for audience members to guide the discussion: 

• What happens when older and younger LGBTQ+ people come together in sustained dialogue? 

• In what ways has pleasure and pain manifested in our LGBTQ+ intergenerational dialogues? 

• What have been points of tension and harmony in our intergenerational dialogue work? 

• How do LGBTQ+ people change through the process of coming together in intergenerational dialogue?

• What should others who wish to facilitate their own LGBTQ+ intergenerational dialogues know before entering this process? 

We hope this panel presentation will both inspire and prepare others to engage in this pleasureful and powerful LGBTQ+ intergenerational work.  

Networking session for undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines and universities. All students interested in and/or engaged in LGBTQ+ focused scholarship are invited!  The session is hosted by a student! 

June 3, 2022

9:00-10:00 AM

Session N. Becoming a Promiscuous Social Scientist

Dr. Chris Barcelos, University of Massachusetts Boston

Methods workshop sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work 

This workshop introduces the idea of disciplinary promiscuity in the context of the social and behavioral sciences. How might we sluttily borrow methodologies and methods from across, between, and outside disciplinary boundaries? What are the risks and rewards of becoming a researcher that runs regression analyses one day and performs close readings of archival materials the next? How can disciplinary promiscuity help foster a queer, anti-racist, liberatory vision of social science?

10:15-11:15 AM Concurrent Sessions

Session O. Research Presentations: Sex in Discourse, Culture and Practice

1 CEU available

  1. La distribución del VIH: Spatializing HIV in España (Emplacing HIV: Spatializing HIV in Spain)

    Tyler Arguello

    Background: Spain is a stimulating case study about HIV and gay life; in recent years, Spain has reduced HIV incidence while still having young gay men and unprotected anal intercourse as the top risks factors. Parallel, Spain enjoys prominence as a vibrant gay-friendly culture replete with high gay tourism and several established gay communities. 

    Methdology: Yoking together critical human geography, Queer Theory, and Social Semiotics, an exploratory Queer Discourse Study was conducted to explore the production of a still fairly-new, publicly-established, internationally-advertised LGBTQ+ community, as well as the production of HIV prevention alongside the continued rates of highest-risk young gay men. Empirical en vivo visual data was collected from 18 highly-publicized gay venues of association across three major cities; amassing a dataset of 331 semiotic (visual) resources.

    Results: The data offer a snapshot of the aestheticization of gay life and the stylizing of sexual health in the everyday life of Spanish gay men; showing the critical dialectical relationship between micro practices (e.g., signs, advertisements, texts, the built environment) and macro practices (e.g., HIV prevention, gay culture, queer tourism). This relationship appeared to rely on four major processes: 1. Prominent pride signifiers through excessive rainbow colors; 2. Less representation of “HIV” (“VIH”) and condoms (prevention practices); 3. Simultaneous processes of exclusion and inclusion of gay community constituents; and, 4. Hyper re-/presentation of gay culture and health information other than HIV. 

    Conclusion: In centering attention on queer spaces/places that provide infrastructure for queer life (e.g., “gay bars”), the data showed these venues of association largely unhinged HIV prevention from gay culture. This is a major difference from public health efforts in the United States. This contemporary case study complements social epidemiological and advocacy efforts by scientifically illustrating what health inequities, like the HIV burden on gay men, means in context; that is, this data shows how queer people negotiate queer life and health promotion and prevention in everyday life. Significant questions emerge about how “silencing” HIV may be effective in context, how exclusion/inclusion may function, as well as how sex positivity may recuperate gayness and the gay community. The evidence obtained can lay groundwork to develop further studies that analyze the role of human geography, the environment, and modern political economies in the (psychosocial) transmission of HIV. Finally, this project can increase the cultural competence of practitioners and researchers, and in turn contribute to redressing and reducing stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, within the LGBTQ+ community, those affected by HIV, and the larger mainstream (non-LGBTQ+) community.

  2. Incidence of Chemsex through the Lens of A Statewide Health Needs Assessment

    Christina Graham, Adrian Shanker, Katie Suppes, Jennifer Keith

    Data from the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment showed that 28.2% of respondents had ever used alcohol or other drugs to help them have sex. Rates of “chemsex,” the use of drugs or alcohol to facilitate or otherwise enhance sexual activity, were elevated among men (38.2%) and genderqueer Pennsylvanians (35.8%). 

    Substance use among respondents to the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment varied by factors such as sex assigned at birth, gender identity, age, and geographic location. Differences in substance use and chemsex participation may exist between demographic groups. Across all respondents, more than one third had used recreational marijuana in the past year (37.8%).  About one in ten respondents had engaged in binge drinking at least once per week in the previous 30 days at the time of the assessment (9.6%). One in ten respondents had used alkyl nitrates (“poppers”) in the past year (9.7%). 

    Previous research has shown alcohol and marijuana as the most commonly used substances to facilitate or enhance sexual activity. Other substances associated with chemsex are inhaled nitrates, stimulants, hallucinogens, and prescription drugs. Among all respondents to the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment, 28.2% reported that they had, at any point in their lives, used alcohol or other drugs, including but not limited to poppers or crystal meth, to help them have sex. This was almost twice as likely to be true for respondents assigned male at birth (AMAB) (38.3%) compared to respondents assigned female at birth (AFAB) (19.9%). Among respondents who self-reported any lifetime participation in chemsex behaviors, 45.1% had drank alcohol in the past 30 days, and, in the past year, 49.9% had used recreational marijuana, 28.2% had used alkyl nitrates, 9.2 had used ecstasy or molly, 5.8% had used opioids such as heroin or prescription painkillers, and 5.6% had used crystal meth (methamphetamines). Nearly three in four (74.2%) of respondents who reported chemsex participation had used one or more of these substances in the past year. 

    Despite elevated substance use and chemsex participation, only 10.2% of all respondents to the assessment sought treatment for alcohol or other drug-related use at any time in their lives. Of respondents who reported chemsex participation, 22.6% had sought treatment at any point. Negative experiences with alcohol or other drug treatment providers, based on the patient's LGBTQ status, are common with 21.1% of those seeking treatment reporting a negative experience and 24.4% of chemsex participants seeking treatment. 

    Through the lens of a statewide health needs assessment, these between and within group sexual health and substance abuse disparities can be assessed. This is made possible through the methods which the Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment explicitly collects data regarding substance use, sexual behaviors, and healthcare discrimination. This data and analysis can then be used to help inform more effective addiction treatment programming for LGBTQ people who have a history of chemsex participation. 

  3. Ownership, enjoyment, arousal troubles, & robust education: Pleasure in LGBTQ+ alt-sex members’ responses to consent violations

    Jessamyn Bowling, Susan Wright, J. Kevin Benson, Russell Stambaugh, Robert Cramer

    Alt-sex (i.e. BDSM, kink, leather, polyamory and open relationships) practitioners include a high proportion of LGBTQ+ individuals. Consent is a key practice among many alt-sex communities (Holt, 2016). LGBTQ+ individuals in alt-sex may nuance consent outside of strict verbal consent, including ‘subspace’ (a trance-like state induced by endorphins), individuals’ capacity for self-knowledge and self-reflection, limits of verbal communication, ignoring one’s limits, and power dynamics (Bauer, 2021). Consent violations include sexual violence but also including non-sexual actions such as ignoring safewords (predetermined signal or verbal cue to stop an action) (Wright et al., 2022). One negative outcome of these violations may include reduction or inhibition of survivors’ pleasure (van Berlo & Ensink, 2000). Given that pleasure is often a primary motivation in engaging in alt-sex activities, the connections between pleasure and consent violations may point to areas of intervention. We examine the role of pleasure in responses to consent violations among LGBTQ+ alt-sex practitioners. In partnership with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, we conducted an electronic survey (N=1,128) of LGBTQ+ alt-sex practitioners internationally. Using the open-ended responses, we conducted thematic and content analyses in Dedoose online software. Emerging themes included violation and pleasure: pleasure as a motivator for violating consent, and pleasure in spite of consent violation; and effects of violation: pleasure reduced/inhibited by consent violations, and pleasure as a motivator for healing and advocacy. The findings have implications for sexuality education and alt-sex community groups. Mental health practitioners may also need to prioritize discussions of pleasure for this population.

Session P. Research Presentations: Experiences and Outcomes of Behavioral Health

1 CEU available


  1. Understanding the Needs and Experiences of SGMI in SMART Recovery

    Briana McGeough, M Greenwood, Nicole Cohen


    Sexual and gender minority individuals (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary individuals; SGMI) are more likely than heterosexual and cisgender individuals to experience symptoms of alcohol and other substance use disorders. SMART Recovery, a cognitive-behavioral mutual help group for addiction, is an in increasingly prominent resource for individuals experiencing substance use disorders. Unfortunately, no known research has examined the experiences of SGMI in SMART Recovery. To fill this gap, this study aims to examine the needs and experiences of SGMI involved in SMART Recovery.


    Data was collected through a feasibility trial of online SMART Recovery groups for SGMI. 30 SGMI were enrolled to participate in 12 sessions of SMART Recovery (3 cohorts of approximately 10 participants each). Participants completed a pre-assessment survey, post-assessment survey, and weekly surveys (comprised of multiple choice and open-ended questions) and participated in a post-intervention interview. Thematic analysis was employed with three independent coders identifying and analyzing themes.


    Overall, all 29 respondents completed at least two assessment surveys and 16 respondents participated in post-intervention interviews. Overall, participants endorsed satisfaction with the program, with most participants describing reductions in substance use. The primary goals for the program endorsed by respondents were developing skills for reducing or abstaining from substance use, cultivating community, and developing skills for managing other mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety. Many, but not all, participants preferred being in an LGBTQ-specific space, though the reasons for that preference varied. Reasons included: Feeling less worried about discrimination, feeling less burden to educate others about their identities, and wanting opportunities to discuss LGBTQ-specific experiences. Non-binary respondents reported feeling particularly included and supported relative to their experiences in other programs. The primary challenge with the program described by participants was difficulty remembering particular skills from the SMART Recovery Program, and some participants described a desire for more content that focused on challenges experienced by SGMI and content focused on managing co-occurring mental health conditions. 


    This study fills an important gap by being the first known study of the needs and experiences of SGMI in SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery may be a promising resource and referral option for SGMI struggling with substance use disorders. Participants varied in terms of their desire to discuss LGBTQ-specific issues. Future research should explore strategies for discussing LGBTQ-specific content, particularly examining the experiences of both participants who endorse a desire for more of this content and participants that do not. Further research should also investigate strategies for improving participant recall of program skills and integrating content for individuals with co-occurring mental health conditions. This study is limited by its small sample and lack of a control condition. Future research should involve larger samples, allowing for comparisons across sexual orientations, gender identities, and other intersecting identities; future research should also include an active control condition for comparison. This study takes a critical next step in understanding the experiences of SGMI in an increasingly prominent intervention, hopefully improving the quality of services for members of these vulnerable populations.

  2. Exploring the Relationship Between Binge Eating, Coping and Stress Among LGBTQIA+ Youth

    Gio Iacono, Emily Loveland, Ryan Watson

    Background & Purpose: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth, commonly referred to in the literature as sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) experience stigma and discrimination related to their sexual and/or gender identity in a cis/heteronormative-dominant society. Relatedly, SGMY also experience pervasive mental health disparities (Russell & Fish, 2016). Binge-eating has been identified as a common mental health issue among SGMY (Klump et al., 2009). Emerging research has begun to identify exercise as a potential mental health protective factor against stress among SGMY (Kirklewski et al., 2020). In an attempt to reclaim individual power and improve mental health, this study aims to explore the relationship between binge eating, coping, and stress among a diverse sample of SGMY. The role of exercise will also be explored.

    Methods: Using data from the 2017 LGBTQ National Teen Survey, diverse SGMY (n = 12,005), 13-17 years of age, completed the following survey instruments: demographic questions including SGMY identity subgroups, self-reported questions about binge eating and binge eating for emotions, a self-reported measure on stress using a scale from 1 to 10, and a modified version of the Godin Leisure Time Activity Measure (Godin & Shephard, 1997). Regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between the SGMY subgroups, binge eating, stress, and exercise.

    Results: Results indicate that SGMY who had more stress on average were more likely to binge eat. SGMY who reported managing stress better were less likely to binge eat. Additionally, transgender youth were significantly more likely to binge eat than cisgender youth. SGMY who identified as assigned male at birth (AMAB) and cisgender were the least likely to eat due to feeling depressed, worthless, to cope, for comfort, and to avoid distress. When evaluating the impact of exercise, those who avoided exercise were significantly more likely to binge eat. Notably, assigned female at birth (AFAB) cisgender lesbians were among the least likely to binge eat. All AFAB transgender respondents, except for those who identified as straight, had a significantly lower ability to manage stress. 

    Conclusion & Implications: Two implications come out of these findings. First, a critical feminist lens of “Fat Activism” may be helpful as a public health messaging approach for SGMY. Advocacy for public health messaging using this critical lens may support the dismantling of current oppressive social norms around nutritional health. Further it may help SGMY reject the dominant societal acceptance of what a body “should” look like and help apply more inclusive, and affirmative lens to body positivity, redefining what it means to be “healthy” for SGMY. Second, exercise can be a positive coping mechanism for SGMY and future stress-reduction interventions should examine ways to implement exercise interventions that are LGBTQIA+ affirmative and sensitive to the safety needs of this youth population. Exercise can be a place where community is built and joy is fostered, but must be on the terms of the SGMY to build this pleasure and power. This presentation will explore these themes in relation to practice and research with SGMY.

  3. Associations Between Complex Trauma History and Health Among Sexual Minority Adults: A Scoping Review

    Vanessa Parker


    Sexual minority (SM) adults experience significant health disparities and report higher rates of complex trauma history compared to the general population. Research has consistently shown that SM adults are at heightened risk to develop negative health behaviors and physical health risk factors, such as smoking or obesity, compared to their heterosexual counterparts (Caceres et al., 2019a; Caceres et al., 2019b; Merrick, 2019). As cardiovascular disease represents one of the most common causes for mortality globally, there is a clear indication for further research focusing on this diagnosis and associated conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. This scoping review had two aims. To provide a synthesis of the tools utilized to assess trauma in association with health and investigate the associations among complex trauma history and physical health variables among SM adults as well as identifies current gaps in the literature.


    Four databases (CINAHL, LGBT+ Life, PsycINFO, and PubMed) were utilized to identify articles that were relevant to the above objective. Grey literature, dissertations, literature reviews, conference presentations, conference proceedings, and white papers were not included within this review. Results were extracted from all four databases to Excel, duplicates were removed, and three authors performed Title and Abstract Review. From 442 non-duplicate articles 17 articles met inclusion criteria for this review. Included articles utilized a measure of complex trauma and assessed at least one health behavior or health condition among SM adults. 


    All 17 included studies were quantitative and most (n=10) utilized cross-sectional data and seven utilized longitudinal data sets. Of included studies, seven utilized nationally representative data sets, seven utilized convenience samples, and three utilized state or local data. Trauma history was assessed with 11 different validated measures and six researcher-constructed measures. Complex trauma was operationalized as history of childhood sexual abuse, adverse childhood experiences, lifetime rape, and lifetime victimization experiences of adult SM participants. Among the 17 total studies, 16 found that complex trauma was significantly associated with increased risk of various health behaviors (e.g., alcohol abuse, physical activity, sexual risk behaviors, and smoking) and health conditions (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure). Most commonly studies assessed trauma history using the Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale (ACEs) and found a positive association between ACEs and adverse health conditions. Lifetime victimization and marginalization was significantly associated with increased odds of poor general health in 3 studies. There were eight health conditions of interest that were investigated across four or more studies (i.e., arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, asthma, and stroke). Due to existing gaps in the literature, further research is needed to investigate associations between trauma, sexual minority identity, and health risk behaviors as a mediator. 


    Based on this scoping review of 17 studies, trauma history was associated with poorer health behaviors and outcomes among SM adults. Further research is needed to explore the mechanisms between complex trauma and health among SM adults and how these associations differ from the general population. 


11:30-12:30 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session Q. Research Presentations: Mapping the Policy Margins: Immigration, Housing, and Sex Work

1 CEU available

  1. ICE(D) Out: ICE Detention Centers as vehicles of transmisogyny

    April Carrillo

    Despite the fact that trans folx can apply for asylum based on the fear of injury or death in their home country, waiting for the process to complete in the United States inherently has similar risks. For trans folx, particularly trans women, who are seeking asylum, they are typically held in ICE detention centers where they largely face harassment, abuse, and even death from other detainees and ICE agents. However, the sparse media coverage only revolves around those who have died and any reporting leaves out the broader issues at play. These ignored problems include the consistent denial of trans identity, equating biology and sex, and seeing violence as a symptom of a wider ideological issue, not a tragic random occurrence. Thus, this research aims to discuss how ICE detention centers and by extension the border, are vehicles of transmisogyny, targeting particularly vulnerable folx. 

  2. Policy implications for unstably housed rural LGBTQ populations

    Jaz Routon

    The presentation introduces the Minority Capacity Framework which is a multi-theoretical approach that combines elements of minority stress theory (Meyer, 2003) and the theory of community action and change (Mancini & Bowen, 2013). The framework attempts to achieve feminist intersectionality by accounting for differences in lived experiences as linked to intersecting social identities (e.g., SGM identity, race, ethnicity, gender, social class) (Collins & Bilge, 2016). The framework guides a mixed-method community case study design that seeks to understand the lived experiences and accessibility of services for unstably housed SGM populations in rural communities. The Minority Capacity Framework guides the mixed method, community case study design. Mixed method designs serve to “elaborate, enhance, deepen, and broaden the overall interpretations and inferences from the study” (Greene, 2007, p. 101). Case study designs allow for in-depth investigation of a particular phenomenon (e.g., housing instability) in its natural context (e.g., rural community) and from the target population perspective (e.g., SGM populations) (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996; Vohra, 2014). A multiple community case study design allows me to explore community characteristics both objectively (e.g., laws, policies, infrastructure) and subjectively (e.g., stakeholder/service provider perceptions, rural SGM people) to understand how various rural communities impact the target population. Three rural or nonmetropolitan communities with varying levels of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections serve as the community cases.  Community one has no protections, community two has organizational and municipal protections, and community three has municipal and state protections. Procedures include semi-structured interviews with community stakeholder and service providers, participant observation, and an online survey with SGM adults residing in rural Kentucky and Illinois. Despite varying degrees of policy protections across the three community cases, LGBTQ individuals, especially transgender women, face obstacles to accessing shelter services. Stakeholders’ limited LGBTQ competency and finite resources leave LGBTQ vulnerable, receiving inadequate care, or being outsourced to metropolitan areas with more queer resources. Even with adequate policies, stakeholders lack the training to determine shelter placement based on gender and provide adequate care. With the political whiplash of LGBTQ protections at the federal level, the study investigates the treatment of houseless or housing insecure LGBTQ populations as related to organizational, municipal, and state-wide human rights. The findings have implications for policy and practice to provide stakeholders with tools for being inclusive and affirming of unstably housed LGBTQ individuals and families in rural communities. 

  3. Cunning Linguists: Epistemic Elision in Sex Work Discourse

    Sarah Gzesh

     FOSTA-SESTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Onlight Sex Trafficking Act and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) was signed into U.S. law in 2018, with the ostensible purpose of curbing sex trafficking through holding web publishers liable for content on their sites that facilitates commercial sex. This policy has faced fierce recrimination from researchers, activists, and journalists, who have pointed to detrimental ways that it has impacted the health and safety of sex workers, while failing to significantly address exploitation. Common critiques have been that FOSTA-SESTA curtailed First Amendment Rights, while unintentionally exacerbating extant challenges in discerning and intervening in sex trafficking. However, this presentation posits that the law is functioning exactly as intended. By analyzing the historical, legislative, and social underpinnings that have influenced how sex work is conceptualized, the epistemic violence of current discourses becomes clear, and the differential impact for vulnerable populations is explored. 

    Sexuality is a central component of late-stage capitalist culture, encompassing commodification, consumption, and control. The legislative lineage of FOSTA-SESTA can be found in historical precedents that delineate the deserving from the damned, and the field of social welfare is complicit in this reification by failing to engage in discourse analysis. Research on this phenomenon often reinforces these stereotypes by an overemphasis on certain aspects of sex workers’ experience, particularly victimization, drug use, HIV/AIDS status, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, while too often ignoring systemic factors such as poverty, global inequality, forced migration, cisheterosexism, and dearth of affordable housing and living wage jobs, that may shape the choices of individuals involved in the sex industry. For identities that are multiply marginalized (i.e. intersectionality between race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, etc), it is all the more imperative to attenuate the gap between policy and practice. 

    This presentation serves as a call to action for the field of social welfare, to stop enacting epistemic violence and to cast aside the social work savior complex. Instead, we must examine the social, moral, and economic factors that can lead to empowerment and harm reduction, to better understand the conditions that lead to entry and exit of the sex industry, as well as the environmental conditions that truncate sex workers’ ability to have agency in their own lives. 

Session R. Networking

Join us for networking about queer and trans research!

This is a space for community, support, and networking specifically for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

1:00-2:30 PM Awards & Keynote Speaker

Session S. “The Erotics of Refusal”

Dr. D-L Stewart, University of Denver

1 CEU available

In this talk, Dr. Stewart will draw on the work of Audre Lorde, adrienne maree brown, and Afrofuturism to paint a vision of a world where refusals proliferate to demand new ways of being in relationship and in community.

Awards Ceremony

Keynote sponsored by the University of Kansas Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

2:45-3:45 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session T. Panel Presentation

Exploring Intersecting Identities: The Challenges and Rewards of Being and Connecting

1 CEU available

Sarah Mitchell, Talaya Flicop, Emma Moore, Alyssa Capdevila, Evan Tsuzaki

Research on minoritized individuals tends to focus on singular identities. Understanding that people are made up of more than one identity is essential in understanding the day-to-day experiences of those who are most impacted by inequities and marginalization, particularly those who are LGBTQ+ and BIPOC. This panel will focus on four qualitative studies highlighting the challenging and rewarding experiences and relationships of individuals with multiple and intersecting marginalized identities.

Checkbox “Other”: Nonbinary and Gender Diverse People of Color

Despite the large proportion of the transgender community that identifies as nonbinary, gender identities that fall outside of the traditional categories of “man” and “woman” continue to be underrepresented in research (Matsuno & Budge, 2017). Those choosing to write in their own gender identity were more likely to be a person of color and/or multiracial (Harrison, Grant, & Herman, 2012), however, representation of nonbinary individuals, even within LGBTQ+ community spaces, is largely limited to White youth (Darwin, 2017). To better understand the diversity of experiences of nonbinary and gender diverse people of color, this study aims to investigate 1) the impact of expectations and preconceptions held about nonbinary identities, and 2) the role racial/ethnic identity plays in their gender development. Preliminary themes include what it means to “look nonbinary”, others’ assumptions regarding identity confusion/impermanence, and a lack of overlap in LGBTQ+ and POC spaces.

The Intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and Religious Identity Development

Research in the area of religion and intersectional identities is quite limited in terms of effects on identity development as a whole.  Historically Christianity has been the most researched. Findings have shown the impact of Christianity on intersecting minoritized identities varies dramatically among individuals of different denominations of Christianity (Barnes & Meyers, 2012). Other religious identities like Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism have been studied relatively little in regard to identity development, especially in considering religions' relationship with race and ethnicity (see Golriz, 2021 for example). Preliminary themes around the exploration of  the nuances of religious, racial/ethnic, and LGBTQ+ identity indicate that certain religions can add confusion to the already overwhelming identity development process, that physical spaces play a role in identity acceptance and overall comfort.

Exploring Mental Health Among POC and LGBTQ+ Individuals During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the lives of individuals who endured it, especially minoritized individuals. LGBTQ+ and POC individuals reported experiencing mental health declines during the pandemic because of the virus itself, family experiences, and/or discrimination experiences (Boserup et al., 2010; Gonzales et al., 2020; Lee, 2021; Milton et al., 2021). In exploring the experiences regarding mental health among people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals during this pandemic, preliminary findings indicate that the virus itself had a psychological impact, that being forced to stay in unsupportive environments during the peak of Covid-19 related to a decline in their mental health, and that the participants felt more comfortable/confident with their identities when surrounded by supportive individuals.

Investigating the Lived Experiences of Plurisexual Men of Color

Plurisexual (those who are attracted to more than one gender), male-identifying people of color are heavily underrepresented in the growing literature of LGBTQ+ research (Ghabrial & Ross, 2018; Monro et al., 2017). This study aims to expand the scope to understand the experiences and perceptions of those who identify as such, with the specific purpose of understanding how their lives are experienced day-to-day. Emerging themes include facing stereotypes and assumptions about plurisexuality, intersecting identities impacting  experiences, and finding social support through their identities.

Session U. Research Presentations: Pleasure, Resilience and Health

1 CEU available

  1. Finding Pleasure and Power from Within: The Role of Self-Compassion in Promoting LGBTQ+ Youth Psychological Well-Being

    Gio Iacono, Emily Loveland, Shelley Craig

    Background and Purpose: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer+ (LGBTQ+) youth, also known as sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) in the scholarly literature, face disparate mental health outcomes compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers (Russell & Fish, 2016). According to Minority Stress Theory (MST), SGMY navigate a world where structures, policies and institutions are incongruent with their sexual and/or gender identities, often contributing to poor mental health outcomes (Meyer, 2003). Self-compassion is conceptualized as treating yourself as you would treat a friend (Neff, 2003). Thought of as an attitude, trait, and a practice, self-compassion has been found to be beneficial for promoting positive mental health and psychological well-being for youth. Fierce self-compassion refers to using self-compassion as a protective factor, such as standing up for oneself (Neff, 2021). However, additional research needs to be conducted on self-compassion for SGMY. Given the dearth of research in this area, this study will examine the role that self-compassion plays in the lives of SGMY and how it impacts their psychological well-being.  

    Methods: From January to June 2018, SGMY (n = 30), ages 16-29 explored evidence-based self-compassion practices (e.g., self-compassion break, statements: Neff & Germer, 2019), and definitions of self-compassion in relation to contemporary conceptualizations (Bluth et al., 2017; Gilbert, 2009; Neff & Germer, 2018) and participated in four 120-minute semi-structured focus groups and six (45-60 minutes) individual interviews. Four coders (3 social work PhD candidates and 1 BSW student) used open line-by-line and focused coding informed by constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) to analyze the focus group and interview transcripts. N*Vivo, version 12 qualitative software was utilized to support data management and analysis. Memos were generated to increase transparency. Attempts to enhance rigor and transparency included memoing, thick description, and triangulation through supplementing focus groups with individual interviews, multiple readings of transcripts by multiple coders, memos/field notes, participant feedback throughout the study, and member checking procedures.  

    Findings and Conclusions: Three major themes emerged that inform an understanding of the role of self-compassion in the lives of SGMY: 1) The importance of cultivating self-compassion to increase resilience in general; 2) self-compassion helps with cultivating awareness, shifting perceptions, difficult emotional states, and making wise choices in the face of adversity; 3) self-compassion can be a means to coping with anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination and internalized oppression. This indicates that self-compassion may be an important and helpful tool for SGMY as they navigate through microaggressions and instances of direct discrimination. Self-compassion, and in particular fierce self-compassion could act not only as a coping mechanism but as an affirmative pleasurable practice for SGMY. This tool can help extend the longevity of necessary community and advocacy work in the LGBTQ+ arena, attempting to dismantle unjust power structures so one day SGMY may experience fewer acts of discrimination to begin with.  

  2. Queer women’s resilience and behavioral health: A review of the literature

    Angie Wootton

    Queer women – people who experience life through the lens of a woman and identify as bisexual, lesbian, or otherwise non-heterosexual – experience a disproportionate burden of several behavioral health conditions compared to the general population (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2020). For example, depression, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder are more prevalent among queer women than their heterosexual counterparts (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2012; Ross et al., 2018). Queer women also experience worse overall self-reported health and wellbeing compared to their heterosexual peers (Dilley et al., 2010; McNair et al., 2011), likely due to minority stress (Meyer, 2003) and these behavioral health disparities. While there is an established body of literature describing risk factors for depression, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder and their co-occurrence in this population, much less is known about the ways queer women develop resilience, or the process of harnessing resources and supports to constructively respond to life’s challenges to maintain health and wellbeing in the face of these risks (Colpitts & Gahagan, 2016). Resilience is an emerging and promising area of research to understand and reduce behavioral health disparities in this population, since higher levels of resilience are generally associated with better behavioral health in the general population (Schnarrs et al., 2020; Shilo et al., 2015). Efforts to identify and characterize LGBTQ+ -specific resilience factors are on the forefront of the behavioral health field, as the extant literature is currently quite limited and there are consistent calls for additional research in this area (Bartoș & Langdridge, 2019; Goldbach et al., 2020; Gonzalez et al., 2021; Harkness et al., 2020; Krueger & Upchurch, 2020; Roberts & Christens, 2020; Salerno et al., 2020; Schnarrs et al., 2020). To address these calls, this presentation summarizes the current research literature on 1) the presence of resilience factors in queer women, 2) the associations between resilience and common behavioral health concerns for queer women, and 3) gaps in what is known about the role of resilience in the lives of queer women living at the intersection of multiple marginalized social positions (e.g. QTPOC, bisexual and pansexual women, trans/non-binary women). This research aims to promote an understanding of the individual, group, and community-level factors that allow queer women to achieve resilience and wellbeing despite the presence of trauma, systemic oppression, and other barriers to living well. 

  3.  “We’ll Dance Harder and Love Deeper”: LGBTQIA+ Resilience and Resistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Brendon Holloway, Kristie Seelman

    Historically, LGBTQIA+ individuals have endured trauma as a result of systemic discrimination, harm, and violence. Examples of this trauma include the police raid that prompted the Stonewall Riots in 1969 (Jenkins, 2019), the HIV epidemic that began in 1981 (DHHS, CDC, 2019), and laws making it illegal to engage in same-gender sexual activity. Currently, LGBTQIA+ individuals are still on the receiving end of systemic oppression, and the arrival of a pandemic in the past two years has added an additional layer of challenge to the lives of LGBTQIA+ people, as there are generally greater risks for infection and mortality among marginalized communities (Kantamneni, 2020). 

    Although resilience is commonly used as a framework in LGBTQIA+ research related to dealing with trauma, discrimination, and oppression, it inadvertently places the burden on the individual or community to navigate discrimination and oppressive systems. Resilience does not account for “how to change, challenge, and dismantle oppressive structures” (Robinson & Schmitz, 2021, p.4). Alternatively, some scholars who engage in LGBTQIA+ research are shifting to a resistance framework. Resistance highlights the individual and collective acts to resist oppressive systems, stigma, discrimination, and violence rooted in oppression (Ward, 2007). For the present study, we view resilience and resistance as interconnected, and explore resistance strategies used by LGBTQIA+ individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic as a form of resilience. Our research question is: How are LGBTQIA+ adults in the Southeast U.S. demonstrating resilience and resistance during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

    Participants completed monthly online diary entries over the course of one year that contained a new prompt each month to better understand their experiences during the pandemic. Diaries were submitted as text, audio, video, and/or photographic files. A subgroup of individuals was invited to complete video interviews. The final sample included 30 adults (age range: 18-73). Sixty percent were White, 23% were Black, and 17% were other identities or preferred not to answer. Guided by the research question, we used content analysis to review our data (Bengtsson, 2016), focusing on text-based diary entries, detailed notes summarizing audio diary entries, and detailed notes from video interviews. 

    Our findings captured two primary themes: (1) Resilience and resistance that builds on the knowledge base and histories of LGBTQIA+ people, and (2) Resilience and resistance re-imagined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nested within each theme were categories including but not limited to mutual aid, activism and political change, resisting capitalism’s brutality, and envisioning a better world.  

    The findings show that resilience and resistance are historically embedded in the LGBTQIA+ community and have also been re-imagined in the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants engaged in known resilience and resistance strategies, such as engaging creativity and in mutual aid. The re-imaginative process allowed LGBTQIA+ people to envision what a better world looks like, individually and collectively. To co-create a better world with LGBTQIA+ individuals, educators and researchers can collaborate with LGBTQIA+ people to create affirming counterspaces. Practitioners can engage with LGBTQIA+ community members to learn what they need to feel supported and to thrive in their communities.  

4:00-5:00 PM Concurrent Sessions

Session V. Research Presentations: Sexual and Relationship Violence: Exploratory and Translational Research

1 CEU available

  1. Preventing Sexual Violence against LGBTQ+ College Students: A Practice to Research Study

    LB Klein, Lee Doyle

    LGBTQ+ (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer) people are often left out of campus sexual violence (SV) prevention efforts despite experiencing higher rates of SV. To inform LGBTQ+-affirming prevention efforts, we used a practice-to-research approach to aggregate wisdom from 32 LGBTQ+ professionals working to address campus SV among LGBTQ+ college students garnered through semi-structured interviews. We analyzed the interviews using an iterative thematic content analysis approach as well as negative case analysis, member checking, engagement of a seven-person expert advisory group, and triangulation to enhance rigor. These interviews yielded four approaches to including or excluding LGBTQ+ students in campus SV prevention programs: (1) cisheteronormative approach, (2) disclaimer approach, (3) gender neutral approach, and (4) LGBTQ+-affirming approach. We also summarize recommendations for possible action steps across the social ecology for LGBTQ+-affirming campus SRV prevention. Individual level strategies included incorporating scenarios in bystander intervention programming that illustrate how cisheteronormativity contributes to SV, including LGBTQ+-specific examples in consent programming, and partnering with LGBTQ+ groups to develop SV prevention programming for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, and students. At the relationship level, recommendations included establishing LGBTQ+-affirming roommate match programs, hiring LGBTQ+ people for SV-related and senior leadership roles, and developing partnerships between SV and LGBTQ+ organizations. Community-level strategies included ensuring LGBTQ+ people (especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color who are LGBTQ+) are in social marketing images, reallocating funds from sex segregated spaces (e.g., fraternities and sororities) to gender expansive spaces (e.g., LGBTQ+ social spaces), and funding LGBTQ+ celebrations. At the societal level, strategies included providing LGBTQ+-affirming comprehensive sex education in K-12, cultivating pipelines for LGBTQ-affirming research to reach practitioners, and advocating for transformative justice approaches. Implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.

  2. A Scoping Review of a Decade of Research on Sexual and Relationship Violence among LGBTQ+ College Students

    LB Klein, Hayden Dawes

    Although there has been increased attention to campus sexual and relationship violence (SRV) because of Title IX and the #MeToo movement, much of that attention has focused on victimization of cisgender heterosexual women. This scoping review uncovers information from empirical studies on what is known about LGBTQ+ (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, nonbinary) students’ experiences of campus SRV. Using rigorous scoping review methods (i.e., searches of fifteen databases, searches of grey literature on expert websites, hand searching, reference harvesting, and forward citation chaining), we identified 56 documents published since 2000 that contained findings from empirical studies related to LGBTQ+ students and SRV on U.S. college and university campuses. Forty-six of the 56 documents had been published since 2016. The included documents contained findings around five key themes: (1) extent and types of victimization, (2) negative outcomes, (3) knowledge of and attitudes about SRV, (4) perspectives on SRV services and prevention education programs, and (5) recommendations from study authors based on their findings. Implications for research, practice, and policy based on these findings are discussed.

  3. Sexual identity and sexual attraction differences in reproductive coercion and its behavioral health impact: An exploratory study with emerging adults

    Jacob Goffnett, Laura Swan, Jennie Pless, Tyler Andrews

    Background: Sexual minority people are at increased risk of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) compared to heterosexuals (Goldberg & Meyer, 2013) and, in some instances, report fewer supportive resources to manage the deleterious repercussions (Santoniccolo et al., 2021). Recent research has begun exploring reproductive coercion as a form of IPV among the general population, yet few studies have examined the phenomenon among sexual minority people. Reproductive coercion refers to a partner interfering with contraception or reproductive decision-making (McCauley et al., 2017). Furthermore, limited research has explored reproductive coercion's relationship to behavioral health outcomes despite other forms of IPV being risk factors for negative health outcomes (Capaldi et al., 2012). The current study aims to begin addressing these gaps by exploring the occurrence and behavioral health impact of reproductive coercion among a sample of emerging adults. 



    Methods: Survey data was collected with sexual minority and heterosexual emerging adults at one southern university in the fall of 2020. Participants were recruited through university listservs and social media advertisements. The survey asked respondents about their romantic and sexual relationships, sexual identity-related experiences, and behavioral health. Standardized measures of depression, anxiety, and alcohol use were used as indicators of behavioral health. Participants completing the survey had a chance to win one of three $50 gift cards. Bivariate analysis and logistic and linear regressions were conducted in SPSS. 


    Results: Participants (N = 387) ranged in age from 18-24 years-old with approximately 6% reporting reproductive coercion. Sexual minority status was not a significant risk factor for reproductive coercion. However, logistic regression revealed that being sexually attracted to people of multiple genders predicted increased likelihood of experiencing reproductive coercion (B = 1.25, p = .012). Other risk factors included identifying as Latinx (B = 1.53, p = .004) and being in a relationship (B = 1.57, p = .043). Results from three linear regression models found that reproductive coercion predicted elevated behavioral health problems (anxiety: B = 3.77, p = .001; depression: B = 3.26, p = .010; alcohol use: B = 2.32, p < .001). Additionally, attraction to people of multiple genders predicted increases in anxiety (B = 1.72, p = .021) and depression (B = 3.04, p < .001) scores. 


    Conclusion: Findings shed light on reproductive coercion's identity and behavioral dynamics while building a foundation for future research. The following steps include improving the measurement of reproductive coercion for sexual minority populations and replicating procedures among larger samples to parse out identity differences. Practitioners should be aware of reproductive coercion and its negative behavioral health impact. 


Session W. Research Presentations: LGBTQ+ Identities on Campus

1 CEU available

  1. We're not unicorns: Lived experiences of LGBTQ+ student veterans

    Josh Kinchen, Amanda L. Mollet

    This qualitative study of LGBTQ+ student veterans was situated using a narrative paradigm (Spector-Mersel, 2010). In alignment with these epistemic and ontological beliefs, researchers will remain attentive and reflective to the ways our narratives and engagement shape participants’ emergent narratives “embedded within social, cultural, and institutional narratives” (Clandinin & Caine, 2008, p. 544). 

    In 2015, nearly 1.5 million student veterans enrolled in higher education (Holian & Adam, 2020), and the Student Veterans of America (SVA) annual census found that 8.5% of student veterans acknowledged having an “LGBT identity” (SVA, 2021). Extrapolating SVA’s estimate suggests the possible presence of nearly 127,500 LGBTQ+ student veterans in higher education today. The small body of existing research about LGBTQ+ service members’ military experiences (e.g., Estes, 2007; Frank, 2004; Garland, 2007) illustrated an “oppressive and silencing environment” (Rumann & Hamrick, 2013, p. 94). Higher education scholars acknowledge that future research must focus on the “interlocking hierarchies that sustain difference based on gender, race, and sexuality—not only in the military but in higher education as well” (Iverson & Anders, 2013, p. 96). The present study responds to this call, guided by two research questions: (a) how do LGBTQ+ student veterans describe and make meaning of their social identities and (b) how do the social identities of LGBTQ+ student veterans influence their experiences navigating their ecological environments?

    Data come from conversational interviews and the artifacts generated by participants at the beginning of their interviews. Research team members conducted individual 60-90 minute audio-recorded interviews with participants who were primarily recruited through the Student Veterans of America (SVA) national conference. Initial interviews included an opportunity for participants to describe their social identities and situate them according to salience with their microsystems (e.g., personal life, classrooms, college campus). These data provide context for understanding who LGBTQ+ student veterans are and the multiple identities that they hold. The artifact used for describing participants’ identities also served as a means of co-construction of narrative (Chase, 2010; Reissman, 2008), for hearing participants’ stories. 

    The findings will focus on understanding participants’ experiences, not as parts or components, but looking at the whole narrative (Josselin, 2011). We will begin with discussion of thematic analysis (Josselin, 2011; Reissman, 2008) that acknowledges the narratives as three-dimensional (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). Discussion of dialogic/performance analysis (Reismann, 2008) will happen secondarily with a critical consideration of historical and social contexts. This study provides context and guidance about who these students are and what they need to have academic success and thrive in higher education. Military service and veteran status, similar to LGBTQ+ identity, intersects with most other identities, creating a need to examine the impacts of race, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. This study complicates assumptions of gender in very gendered systems, which exist not only in military-affiliated spaces but also in other spaces in higher education. By serving the margins of the margins, practitioners have the potential of enhancing experiences, support, and resources for all students.

  2. A picture is worth a thousand words: Visual representations of LGBTQ+ college students’ conceptions of healthy intimate relationships

    Jordan Smoot, Amanda L. Mollet

    This study uses an asset-based approach and a queer framework to explore and learn about the healthy intimate relationships of today’s LGBTQ+ students through photo-elicitation. The overarching purpose of the research project is to identify and amplify the affirming relationship structures, practices, and patterns that emerge in LGBTQ+ students’ relationships. Understanding these experiences will create opportunities for practitioners and faculty to design interventions for all students about healthy types of intimacy that exist beyond current normative conceptions. These data will also highlight approaches to intimate relationships that may support LGBTQ+ students in conceiving and creating healthy intimate relationships that affirm them and their identities. 

    Amatonormative (Brake, 2011) ideas permeate relationship research by preferencing certain norms (i.e., heterosexual, monogamously coupled, romantic, and sexual relationships) while ignoring or casting aside other significant relationships (Evans, 2007). Creating healthy relationships as LGBTQ+ people often involves navigating additional barriers and stressors such as minority stress (Diamond & Blair, 2018), internalized homonegativity (Mohr & Daly, 2008), identity confusion (Mohr & Fassinger, 2006); oppressive or chilly campus climates (Blumenfeld et al., 2016; Garvey et al., 2015; Renn, 2010), and a lack of available sexual health information (Aubrey et al., 2020; Charest et al., 2016). Examining queer intimacies (Hammack et al., 2019), instead, creates an opportunity for understanding the many ways LGBTQ+ students create affirming relationships during college beyond existing limited conceptions. 

    As a multidisciplinary field, relationship studies research provides an array of research that examines facets of intimate relationships (Perlman et al., 2018) but unfortunately, much of the related scholarship centers on white, monogamous, cisgender, heterosexual couples (Clark, 2018). Of the limited existing studies that include analysis of or a focus on LGBTQ+ student relationships, the substantial focus remains on intimate partner violence (IPV) with replicated findings highlighting that LGBTQ+ students experience IPV at higher rates than their heterosexual and cisgender peers (Brown & Herman, 2015; Cantor et al., 2019; Martin-Storey et al., 2018; Rogers & Rogers, 2020; Tilley et al., 2020; Walters et al., 2013). HIV prevention is another common topic in LGBTQ+ relationship research (see Biskupiak et al., 2018; Tan et al., 2019), as are discussions of “risky sex” behaviors (see Fenkl et al., 2020).

    We approached this study with a critical constructivist (Charmaz, 2017, 2020) perspective and the use of photo-elicitation (PEI). PEI provides a tool for honoring participants’ humanity and decolonizing research by “centering the power of images and participants’ voices” (Ellis & Enriquez, 2021, p. 17), which aligns with the theoretical framework by allowing space for intimacies not yet defined. Recent studies of LGBTQ+ students and youth (e.g., Craig et al., 2020; Smith et al., 2017) highlighted the benefits of PEI methods for eliciting deeper insights while also humanizing participants’ experiences (Joy & Numer, 2017). Engaging research from a critical paradigm, we will use also participants’ photos to highlight the ways systemic and structural manifestations of racism, white supremacy, colonialism, and other systems of oppression influence the ways QTPOC and other LGBTQ+ students engage queer intimacies.

  3. Acknowledgement of cisgender and heterosexual privilege among social work students

    Brittanie Ash, Brendon Holloway, Eugene Walls


    Social justice has become a buzzword in social work education, yet little is known about how social justice is operationalized within social work education and practice. Understanding more about the recognition of privilege can support social work educational programs to better engage students in their understanding of social justice. Further, many courses that focus on oppressed populations fail to mention or examine issues of privilege (Case, 2013a; Ferber et al., 2007) and without making the connection explicit in course content, students may leave programs unaware of privilege and its role in maintaining inequity (Case, 2013b; Case et al., 2012; McIntosh, 2012). 

    Privilege - the system of unearned advantages enjoyed by members of dominant social groups, based solely on membership in those groups (Mcintosh, 1993) - “gives some people the freedom to be thoughtless at best, and murderous at worst” (Bailey, 2003, p. 308). Helping social work students see the “embedded forms that members of the dominant group are taught not to see” (Mcintosh, 1993, p. 37) can lead to transformation that changes the way future social work practitioners can address systems of oppression (Allen, 1995), helping them to connect their personal privileged identities with broader structural issues (Parker, 2003). Social work education has not done an adequate job of addressing issues of power in curriculum or practice (Almeida et al., 2008; Etiony, 2007), leaving future practitioners often confused on how to address these concerns with clients (Miller et al., 2004).


    Using a 2019 national sample of students attending CSWE-accredited social work programs in the US (N=691), we examine demographic, attitudinal, curricular, and social predictors of knowledge about cisgender and heterosexual privilege. We adapted Swim and Miller’s (1999) White Privilege Scale to create measures of cisgender and heterosexual privilege, both of which demonstrate good reliability in the current sample. We then use two OLS regression models to predict levels of knowledge about the two types of privilege. 


    For both models (cisgender privilege knowledge and heterosexual privilege knowledge), identifying as a cisgender woman positively predicted privilege awareness compared to cisgender men, while some racial differences also emerged in levels of privilege awareness. Participation in a course that had content on power and privilege predicted increased heterosexual and cisgender privilege awareness. Lastly an endorsement of a critical understanding of social justice was positively associated with both cisgender and heterosexual privilege awareness. 


    Even though social work as a profession has done much in terms of serving populations at risk and advocating for equality, numerous scholars argue that social work education has done an inadequate job of addressing issues of power and oppression in the curriculum or in practice (Almeida, Dolan-del Vecchio, & Parker, 2008; Etiony, 2007). This leaves graduating social work students confused about how and when to address these issues with clients (Miller et al., 2004). We demonstrate the importance of having a standalone course on power and privilege, and on teaching students a critical understanding of social justice.  

5:15-6:45 PM Queer Fashion Show

Session X. Invited Research Presentation

“The Pleasure and Power in Clothing: Celebrating Trans* Experiences with Fashion”

Drs. Elizabeth G. Holman & Su Yun Bae, Bowling Green State University (5:15-5:30)

Session Y. Queer Fashion Show (5:30-6:45)

Pre-Recorded Sessions

Pre-recorded Presentations

Incarceration, Pleasure, and Sexuality: Using the Correspondence of Incarcerated Queer People to Queer Narratives of the Prison

Matthew Ball

Queer criminological research has drawn long overdue attention to the experiences of sexually- and gender-diverse communities in criminal justice contexts. This paper queers criminological narratives about incarceration and sexuality, and particularly interrogates the concept of pleasure in carceral settings. By analysing an archival collection of correspondence written by incarcerated queer people, this paper broadens our understanding of the creation, maintenance, and performance of sexual subjectivities under conditions of carceral governance, and examines the role of the prison in producing new sites of pleasure and new avenues for the performance and exploration of sexual subjectivities. Using these examples, this paper provides new insights into what we think we know about prisons, and new directions for queer criminology.

Research Presentation: “It’s the Environment, Not Me”: Experiences Shared by Transgender and Gender Diverse People Living in Texas

Kelly Clary, Jacob Goffnett, Marley King, Taylor Hubbard, Rylee Kitchen

Background: Transgender and gender diverse people (TGD) experience elevated rates of behavioral health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance misuse, non-suicidal self-harm, and suicidality. Minority stressors, such as discrimination and victimization, contribute to these health outcomes. A salient form of discrimination is the use of gender non-affirming language, such as using incorrect pronouns or names. However, a recent study uncovered the impact symbols (e.g., flags, stickers) in an environment may have on invoking positive or negative feelings for transgender youth in the Midwest (Paceley et al., 2020). Our exploratory study seeks to dig further into this phenomenon with TGD adults living in Texas. 

Methods: From June to July 2021, three researchers conducted three audio recorded semi-structured focus groups and three individual interviews with participants who were (1) English Speaking (2) at least 18 years old, (3) currently living in Texas, and (4) identified as transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary. All participants received a $30 Amazon gift card. Interview topics included (1) gender-affirming and non-affirming language and experiences, (2) positive and negative interactions, and the associated emotions, and physiological reactions, (3) stressful and supportive environments, and (4) positive and negative coping mechanisms. We present findings from the third topic regarding environments. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and any identifying information (e.g., town, names, doctor) was removed. Four coders assisted with data analysis. Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was conducted to report the overarching themes with illustrative quotes. An initial codebook with seven codes was developed using the interview protocol. Using the initial codebook, line by line coding ensued using two random transcripts and the codebook was updated accordingly. Weekly coding meetings with the four coders were held to debrief on the coding procedures, reflect on biases and interpretations, modify the codebook as appropriate, and reach consensus for any code discrepancies. All transcripts were coded by the first two authors with the final codebook. 

Results: Interviews ranged from 42 to 106 minutes (m=74 minutes). The average age of all participants (n=11) was 37, the majority identified as white (n=7), and were married/in a domestic partnership (n=6). We uncovered themes and will report findings related to the following features of the social environment: (a) non-supportive symbolism (e.g., pride flags, gender-specific posters, religious symbols), (b) supportive symbolism (e.g., flags, inclusive language), (c) Texas-specific culture (e.g., Texas Flag), and (d) health-care and medical interactions/environments (e.g., reproductive health, language used by health providers). 

Conclusion: Symbolism can have a profound impact on someone’s identity development and expression, emotions, and coping mechanisms, exemplifying the importance of understanding the geographic and cultural specific mechanisms within the environments TGD people occupy. Further, we believe it is important to consider the spectrum of inclusiveness and discrimination within environments as it is not always characterized as either supportive or non-supportive but often mixed. We suggest researchers follow up on our findings using more generalizable methods, specifically with those who have multiple marginalized identities (i.e., race/ethnicity, sexual orientation). Further, a representative sample within the United States to evaluate differences based on geographic location is important. 


Research Presentation: Lesbian adolescence and the reexamination of collective identity: Reading personal narratives from India

Ashitha Mary Christopher, Unni Krishnan K

In the last 25 years, there has been a considerable development in research concerning “non-heterosexual” forms of gender and sexuality in the context of India. While a range of diverse non-fictional literature, interviews and anthologies in particular, has documented the lives of non-heterosexual individuals, there are hardly a few accounts of life surrounding lesbian sexuality. This article reads these narratives to examine the collective identity of girls in the course of sexual discovery during childhood and adolescence, their strategies of identity consolidation, and various methods of recomposition of collective identity as they emerge into adults and create spaces of queer acceptance or find community engagement to navigate a heterosexual society. Based on epistemological premises grounded in social-constructionist theory and Indian theoretical expositions of queer studies, this research undertakes an analytical and interpretative reading of the narratives from the angle of identity studies as conceived in developmental psychology and sociology respectively. The analysis employs pragmatic reasoning and concept-driven process coding method to construct patterns, code clusters, and analytic memos. The term “lesbian” (here) is all-inclusive of women having a homosexual identity, uncategorised or unlabelled homoerotic friendships, or homosexual inclinations. 

Keywords: “queer” childhood and adolescence, collective identity, lesbian sexuality, personal narratives, biographical research


Protective and Promotive Factors of Chosen Family Support

Kenzi Callaway, Connor Callahan, Jenifer McGuire

The negative effects of family of origin rejection and the positive effects of acceptance on LGBTQ youth’s wellbeing are well-established (Olsen et al.,2016; Ryan et al., 2010; McGuire & Fish, 2018). LGBTQ people have long developed complex family connections through meaningful interactions that challenge our society's heteronormative definitions of family (Oswald et al., 2005), seeking support from chosen family at higher rates than heterosexual or cisgender peers (Dewawle et al., 2011). Recent findings highlight the relative importance of family of origin support beyond chosen family support (Milton & Knutson, 2021). This study seeks to examine joint and separate family of origin and chosen family influences.  

In the current study, LGBTQ participants (N = 1032, Mage = 25-34, SD = .974) responded to an online survey that included questions about the Family Gender Environment (FGE) of their family of origin. The six subscales include: family support (family inclusion, explicit care, acceptance and support), and family rejection (active barriers, disaffirm gender, and morally wrong). Participants reported a global measure of perceived quality of chosen family support (1 = Strongly disagree, 5 = Strongly agree) and a total count of types of support received from chosen family (connection to LGBTQ community, shown safe spaces, help understanding sexuality, help understanding gender identity, guidance to medical resources for transition, guidance to sexual health resources, provided housing, helped financially, and other support). Participants also completed a quality of life measure. 

Regression analyses examined associations between FGE, CFS, and quality of life. Results indicated that CFS contributed to higher quality of life above and beyond most indicators of family of origin support. Results also indicated that retrospectively reporting an affirming and accepting family gender environment during adolescence was positively correlated with reporting a currently supportive chosen family. This follows a promotive  “support begets support” model of well-supported youth cultivating supportive chosen families. 

When considering types of chosen family support, and overall breadth of CFS experiences, evidence emerged for a more needs based association. Results suggested that participants who reported having more disaffirming experiences with family of origin (active barriers, disaffirm gender, and morally wrong) were more likely to need/receive financial, housing, or “other” support from their chosen family, and report a lower overall quality of life. These findings suggest that those who rely upon their chosen family for financial, housing, or “other” supports are also experiencing the lowest quality of life in this sample. These findings support previous understandings of why LGBTQ people may rely upon chosen family (i.e. not having family of origin support). Protective mechanisms (such as cultivating instrumental supports) can be developed through professional advocates for LGBTQ well-being (mental health professionals, medical care teams, policy changes, etc.). 

These findings expand our understanding of how family gender environments during adolescence contribute to LGBTQ peoples' quality of life, and how different levels and modes of chosen family support can serve as protective and promotive factors. We were able to delineate how different types of chosen family support were associated with overall quality of life.

Trans and Gender Nonconforming Collegiate Athletes: Understanding their Experiences on Sport Teams and Their Perceptions of Team Members’ Allyship Behaviors

Joanna Line, Ryan Socolow, Anna Baeth

Transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) athletes face extensive barriers to participating in, and persisting in, sports, especially over larger swaths of time and as sport becomes more elite (e.g., Jones et al., 2017). Evident in current trends and events, a record-breaking number of state-level bills aiming to ban TGNC youth from participating in sport were introduced across the country in 2021 (ACLU, 2021). As of January 19th, 2022, changes to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) guidelines on TGNC athlete inclusion no longer ensure consistent protections and opportunities for TGNC athletes to participate in competitions. Within this exclusionary national and collegiate environment, athletes and athletics staff can play a critical role in advocating for TGNC athlete inclusion by cultivating a culture of belonging on their teams. When cultures are intentionally cultivated, sports teams can be a supportive community for TGNC athletes (Herrick et al., 2020; Klein et al., 2019; Lucas-Carr & Krane, 2012; Lucas-Carr & Krane, 2011). Our study contributes to limited research on team members’ and athletics staff members’ allyship behaviors that have facilitated TGNC athletes participation in NCAA sport, offering insight from across different sports and NCAA divisions. Results from this study may offer actionable recommendations for teammates and administrators to support TGNC team members’ participation in sport as their full selves. Using a multiple case study approach, we interviewed former and current NCAA TGNC athletes and two of the supporters that they identified (e.g., a teammate and a coach). In this presentation, we will share our preliminary findings from those interviews and possibilities for how practitioners and researchers might put these findings into action.


Describing Factors Influencing LGBTQ Individuals Coming Out through Photovoice

Tucker Taff

Purpose and Background/Significance: The LGBTQ+ community has an increased risk for mental health concerns including risk of suicide, substance use, and risky behaviors alongside risks of cardiovascular events. The process of “coming out” is a stressful time for the LGBTQ+ community due to concerns about stigmatization and for some individuals, rejection. The purpose of this study is to describe factors increasing or decreasing stress and stigmatization associated with the coming out process in LGBTQ+ individuals. By understanding the stressors, the LGBTQ+ community faces, nurses can develop person-centered approaches to maximize mental wellbeing and quality of life. 

Theoretical/conceptual framework: Photovoice methodology originated from feminist inquiry and empowerment education. It is a participatory method for social action and has historically been used to give a voice to marginalized communities. This form of community-based research encourages dialogue between participants and researchers, that fosters person-centered results. Photovoice offers a medium for the LGBTQ+ community to feel empowered in the findings, generate social change, and offer a place for their often underheard voices.

Method: Ten LGBTQ+ adults, ages 18-29, will be recruited at local LGBTQ+ organizations. Organizations include houseless shelters, local health agencies, and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. Participants will have a 4-week window to capture up to 27 photos using a disposable camera or their personal cell device. The photos will describe factors that either increase or decrease the stress they felt during coming out. A one-to-one in-depth interview will be completed after the photos are developed to explore the meaning and significance of the photos. The interview narratives will be analyzed using thematic analysis to identify common themes.

Results: Data collection has started. Four participants are currently enrolled in the study. Results from the analysis will be provided at the conference. 

Conclusions: Understanding the coming out process and impact on mental health and wellbeing is critical to ensure that adolescents, young adults, and their families have support to reduce negative outcomes. These outcomes include increased mental health concerns, risk of unsafe coping mechanisms, and impaired physical wellbeing. In further studies, recruitment will be the biggest limitation due to a variety of issues such as participants health, financial security, and comfort in study. 


“This isn't going to work for very much longer”: Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming Adult Athletes’ Experiences in Sport

Anna Baeth

Sport participation is known to improve overall health and increase physical activity, emotional regulation, teamwork skills, and self-confidence of athletes. However, for many, sports have remained inaccessible and/or resulted in negative experiences and outcomes like bullying, hazing, physical violence, shaming, body dysmorphia, and harassment based on gender presentation and sexual orientation. Due to lack of physical activity, young Americans currently face higher rates of obesity, increased rates of mental health issues, and increased feelings of isolation. According to the CDC, these negative trends run most rampant amongst people with marginalized identities, including girls and women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or trans, queer, and gender non-conforming or GNC) community. While recent scholarship on the experiences of nonbinary people in varying contexts (as patients in the healthcare system, as students in college, and as residents in medical school) has emerged, no studies on the experiences of nonbinary people in athletics and sport exist. The purpose of this study was to explore how nonbinary and GNC people understand their athletic and sport experiences by addressing the following research questions: What are the experiences of nonbinary and GNC people when they participate in sports? And, which spaces and people are most/least supportive of nonbinary and GNC athletes? Within a sporting system that is heavily predicated on, or at least a perpetrator of, the female apologetic and toxic masculinity, nonbinary athletes are among the few who often participate in both women’s and men’s sports and on both women’s and men’s sports teams. Nonbinary and trans athletes’ experiences may offer a unique vantage on the ways women’s and men’s sport systems separately, and in tandem, operate relative to gender. Examining nonbinary athletes' experiences in sport may offer practices and policies that can be replicated in binary sport programs, creating more welcoming and healthy environments for all participants. In turn, this may lead to an increase in the diversity of athletes and to nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people’s access to sport and participation in physical activity. 

From Being Slain to Slaying: The Use of Black Women’s Bodies to (Re)situate Identity, Sexuality, and Pleasure

Tayon Swafford

Two enslaved Black women were once accused of conspiring to poison their slave master LeJeune, and his family. LeJeune claimed that he had a box containing poison as evidence of the women’s intentions. However, inside the box were tobacco and rat dung. The court heard numerous testimonies, but the women died in torture prior to the end of the proceedings. This anecdote recounts one among many instances during slavery in the U.S. when black women’s bodies were brutalized. Since slavery, dominant social systems, structures, ideologies, texts, discourses, and media have edited and manipulated Black women’s bodies in ways that portray them as sexually different, primal, hyper, and immoral.


The ability to be edited and manipulated suggests that Black women’s bodies are under social, political, economic, and moral subjugation. To be under subjugation means that Black women have not possessed the power and privilege to control their bodies and/or themselves. This presentation argues that the brutalization of Black women’s bodies has continued to be justified by people in positions of power through their use of two social Darwinian theories: natural selection and “Survival of the Fittest.” When used, natural selection and “Survival of the Fittest” allows people in positions of power to assess, assign value, transfer expectations, and levy sanctions on how “well” Black women’s bodies function in private and public spaces. Despite no longer operating as the dominant social, philosophical, and political discourses as they did in the late 19th and 20th centuries AD, natural selection and “Survival of the Fittest” continue to justify, excuse, and perpetuate the “othering” and mutilation of Black women’s bodies in contemporary academic and public discourses.


This reality poses four questions that will be addressed during the presentation: First, in what ways have Black women grappled with and resisted the norms and sanctions imposed on their bodies by social Darwinian structures, systems, and ideologies? Second, what impact has Black women’s resistance had on how they express femininity and embrace womanhood publicly and privately? Third, which identities and sexualities are most likely to be mainstreamed and peripheralized through and because of Black women’s resistance and their (re)situating of bodily autonomy? Fourth, how can members in person-oriented, service professions (e.g., social workers) uplift womanhood and femininity in all forms, while combatting gender and/or sexual peripheralization concurrently? Through addressing these questions, we will begin to ponder how members of person-oriented, service professions can rewrite, teach, think, and advocate in ways that reinforce the importance of Black women having full control over their bodies and, ultimately, themselves.


Uses of the Digital Erotic: Black Queer Women’s Resistance Against Sexual Oppression

Shawna Shipley-Gates

Black women experience historical interlocking oppressions, such as hypersexual stereotypes, misogynoir, and homophobia, that relegate their bodies as targets of sexual injury instead of sources of pleasure. Black feminist scholars Audre Lorde, L.H. Stallings, Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, and Jennifer Nash theorize that the power of the erotic can shift from violence to reclamation and self-definition of Black women’s eroticism as a form of resistance. At the intersection of race, gender and sexuality, Black queer women have unique opportunities to resist against sexual oppression and reclaim their pleasure. While referencing Audre Lorde’s focus on the erotic, passion, and desire, Evelynn Hammonds suggests that “black lesbian sexualities can be read as one expression of the reclamation of the despised black female body” (Hammonds, 1994, 130). Since Black female heterosexuality is often associated with rape, incest, and sexual trauma, Hammonds suggests Black queer female sexualities can be sites of desire through her concept of politics of articulation. Politics of articulation encourages Black queer women to speak and act on their sexual desires. 

Black lesbian feminist groups including the Combahee River Collective and Sapphire Sapphos utilized politics of articulation and erotic resistance to rewrite their sexual narratives and fight against homophobia and heteronormativity. The Combahee River Collective emerged in 1977 as a more radical group that better addressed Black feminist issues, especially those of Black lesbians. Specifically, the Combahee River Collective prioritized their sexuality as a form of erotic resistance against intersecting oppressions of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Similar to the Combahee River Collective, Sapphire Sapphos understood the importance of sexuality both as a place of violence but also as a pleasurable form of erotic resistance. 

While scholars have produced numerous examples of erotic resistance among Black women outside of digital landscapes, there is an emerging body of literature that conceptualizes Black queer women’s digital resistance with an emphasis on eroticism. Digital erotic resistance as a strategy to end oppression can be seen in many ways, including web shows, YouTube, social media, and podcasts. Using Hammond’s politics of articulation, Dominique Adams-Santos conducted a narrative analysis on the coming out YouTube videos of fifty queer Black women and contends that politics of articulation explains the intimate candor and digital erotic presence of some queer Black women. According to digital alchemist Moya Bailey, Black queer women and femmes also create web shows that highlight sexual pleasure, consensual non-monogamy, and the destigmatization of sexually transmitted infections. Bailey articulates the purpose of Black queer women’s digital resistance is not to create positive and respectable counternarratives but rather for these women to be their authentic erotic selves. Lastly, I conducted a case study to analyze the digital erotic strategies of Black queer activist and sexuality educator, Ericka Hart. Her work further demonstrates the significance of digital erotic resistance in her podcast, webinars, and social media presence. Digital erotic resistance among Black queer women is an essential strategy to fight against sexual oppression and encourage the prioritization of pleasure, subjectivity, and sexual empowerment. 


Pre-recorded Artistic Submissions

Mirrored Fatality’s COCOON WEBS

Samar Saif, Mango Gwen

mirrored fatality performs their sonic metamorphosis container, COCOON WEBS. mirrored fatality's COCOON WEBS EP is a ferocious affirmation of chaos to harness our ancestral power, primal spirit, collective fury, and interconnectedness to our multiverse in a world numbing us with toxic forces. BLOOM, UTOPIA, INVALIDATION, REINCARNAGE, and EARTHBODY(S) are restorative anthems to sustain us through the revolution. They will have participants cocreate a community altar, coreflect, and colisten together as a community. Each of mirrored fatality’s songs is a tool for participants to ground ancestrally, move through feelings of invalidation as QTBIPOC, cathartically release remnants imprinted by systemic and intergenerational trauma, and imagine visions towards collective liberation and land justice. 

trigger warnings: cussing, settler colonialism, transphobia, racism, xenophobia, intergenerational ancestral trauma, white supremacy, + yelling [[can adjust and remove as necessary to make performance acceptable if all-ages audience]]

Pre-recorded Posters

The relationship between family, school, and community context and disordered eating among LGBTQ+ youth: A national and regional examination

Megan Paceley, Ryan Watson, Jessica Fish, Briana McGeough, Michael Riquino, M Greenwood

LGBTQ+ youth experience disparate mental health issues when compared with cisgender, heterosexual youth (Russell & Fish, 2016). High levels of stigma, oppression, and victimization from LGBTQ+ youth’s families, schools, and communities in part, explain these disparities (Meyer, 2003). Although we know LGBTQ+ youth report higher rates of disordered eating behaviors (Watson et al., 2017), we are less clear on the mechanisms that explain these relations. This presentation utilizes two data sets to explore the relationship between family, school, and community climates and disordered eating among LGBTQ+ youth on a national and regional level.

First, data were drawn from the LGBTQ National Teen Survey (n=7,905) to assess the relationships between 1) family climate (LGBTQ+ acceptance and rejection) and 2) community context (SGM community acceptance, involvement, support, and past-year LGBTQ-based bullying) on disordered eating (e.g. fasting, purging, skipping meals) and binge eating behaviors. Control variables included sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, age, and U.S. region. Two multiple linear regression models tested combined effects of family environment and community context on each outcome. Results indicate that family rejection and SGM-based bullying were associated with higher disordered eating behaviors; only family rejection was associated with higher binge eating. SGM community acceptance and support were associated with lower disordered eating and binge eating behaviors; only community acceptance was associated lower binge eating. Region of the U.S. also showed a significant relationship to disordered eating behaviors with participants in the Midwest, South, and West having higher disordered eating (but not binge eating) than participants in the North. 

Given the relevance of region alongside family and community context, the second study utilizes data from the Kansas LGBTQ Youth Needs Assessment to explore the relationship between family, school, and community climate on disordered eating among LGBTQ+ youth in a rural Midwestern state. Participants (n=152) completed an online survey about their health and healthcare experiences. Disordered eating was assessed utilizing the SCOFF questionnaire (Morgan et al., 1999), a five-item measure for assessment of eating disorders. A score of 3 or higher is considered likely to detect anorexia or bulimia. Family, school, and community climate were described as either hostile, tolerant, or supportive by participants. A multiple linear regression model tested combined effects of family, school, and community climate on disordered eating behaviors. Preliminary findings indicate that 32% of the sample scored 3 or higher on the SCOFF and that a hostile family climate was associated with higher disordered eating. Community and school climate were not significant predictors of disordered eating. 

These findings provide evidence for the relevance of mutable family and community factors on the development of disordered weight control behaviors among SGM youth; particularly on the role of family climate, acceptance, and rejection. Further research is required to identify myriad approaches to assess and address factors that influence disordered eating behaviors. 


The Outstanding Student Paper Award is a monetary award for exceptional student research. At least one monetary award will be presented during the keynote session on June 3, 2022.


The purpose of the Outstanding Student Paper Award is to recognize and promote the excellent research being conducted by graduate and undergraduate students in the field of LGBTQ research.


Eligible students must be (a) currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program (May/summer graduates are welcome to apply), (b) have their research accepted for presentation at the 2022 Symposium. Submissions will be judged on rigor, originality, innovation, and contribution to LGBTQ scholarship.

Application process

Accepted student presenters must submit a draft of their paper and a CV or resume by May 13, 2022 for consideration for the Outstanding Student Paper Award. The steering committee will review all submissions and recipient(s) will be notified during the Symposium. Papers and CVs/resumes should be submitted via email to Please indicate “Outstanding Student Paper Award” in the email subject.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the 10th Annual LGBTQ Research Symposium or the Outstanding Student Paper Award, please email us at or visit our website at

The Outstanding Emerging Scholar Paper Award is a monetary award for exceptional research by an early career scholar. At least one monetary award will be presented during the keynote session on June 3, 2022.


The purpose of the Outstanding Emerging Scholar Paper Award is to recognize and promote the excellent research being conducted by early career scholars in the field of LGBTQ research.


Eligible researchers must have (a) earned their PhD in the last 5 years, (b) their research accepted for presentation at the 2022 Symposium. Submissions will be judged on rigor, originality, innovation, and contribution to LGBTQ scholarship.

Application process

Accepted presenters must submit a draft of their paper and a CV or resume by May 13, 2022 for consideration for the Outstanding Emerging Scholar Paper Award. The steering committee will review all submissions and recipient(s) will be notified during the Symposium. Papers and CVs/resumes should be submitted via email to Please indicate “Outstanding Student Paper Award” in the email subject.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the 10th Annual LGBTQ Research Symposium or the Outstanding Emerging Scholar Award, please email us at or visit our website at

The Outstanding Community Organization Award is a monetary award for exceptional work by a Community Organization. At least one monetary award will be presented during the keynote session on June 3, 2022.


The purpose of the Outstanding Community Organization Award is to recognize and promote the excellent work being conducted by a community organization in service of the LGBTQ community.


Eligible organizations must be working to address a need among members of the LGBTQ community. Submissions will be judged based on the initiative’s innovativeness, impact on members of the LGBTQ community, and intentionality around serving highly marginalized members of the LGBTQ community.

Application process

Nominations must be submitted by May 13, 2022 for consideration for the Outstanding Community Organization Award. The steering committee will review all submissions and recipient(s) will be notified during the Symposium. Nominations should include a nomination letter describing the organization’s mission, initiatives focused on serving the LGBTQ community, strategies for supporting highly marginalized members of the LGBTQ community, and the impact of the initiative. Nominations may also include recent media coverage of the organization. Nominations may come from members of the organization or external parties. Nominations should be submitted via email to Please indicate “Outstanding Community Organization Award” in the email subject.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the 10th Annual LGBTQ Research Symposium or the Outstanding Community Organization Award, please email us at or visit our website at

research symposium 2018
LGBTQ Research Symposium 2018


Theme: Looking Back, Moving Forward: Queerness, Accessibility & Intersectionality

Keynote: Gita Mehrotra (she/her/hers), associate professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University

Virtual Symposium


June 3, 2021

9:30 to 10:30 a.m

Session 1: Sexual & Gender Identity Development

Session 2: Stigma, Identity & Pride


10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Session 3: Photovoice as a Tool for Nonbinary Identity Exploration, Community Change & Wellbeing

Session 4: LGBTQ+ Youth

Session 5: Understanding the Lived Experiences of Trans Elders Accessing Healthcare Services


12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Session 6: Queering Pedagogy & Education

Session 7: Next Practices in Research on LGBTQ & Transgender/Nonbinary People & Communities


1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Professional Networking (sponsored by the Center for LGBTQ+ Research & Advocacy)

Do you want to meet and greet with other scholars engaged in LGBTQ+ research? Join us for an informal and fun hour of professional networking!

Hosts: Megan Paceley (she/they), Briana McGeough (she/her) & Emera Greenwood (they/them)


2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Session 8: Intersectional Identities

CANCELED Session 9: The Gender Diverse Community Healing Model


3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

Session 10: Sexual & Interpersonal Violence & Advocacy

Session 11: Minoritized instructors’ perspectives and experiences of integrating the intersections of gender, sexuality & race into social work education


4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Session 12: Legal Rights & Legislation

CANCELED Session 13: The Risk of Being Yourself: The Ethical Case for Providing Effective Care to LGBTQIA+ Individuals



June 4, 2021

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Session 14: Sexual & Gender Identity Emergence & Outness

CANCELED Session 15: Intersecting Oppressions: Healing & Imagination in Social Work Practice


10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Session 16: Age & Aging in Historical Context

Session 17: Intersections with Black & African-American Identities & Movements

Session 18: A Discussion of Asexual Research(ers)


12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Keynote: How we do the work is the work: Building a practice of intersectional queer scholarship


1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Community, Affirmation & Support as Suicide Prevention: A Legitimately Light (no really) Mixer

Meet and greet folks doing LGBTQ+ suicide prevention work in this light, informative, and friendly event

Host: Ash Wilson (they/them) & Michael Riquino (he/him)


2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

Session 19: Art, Media & Literature

Session 20: Transidentity theory: Queering the feminist & feminizing the queer


4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Session 21: Religion: Clashes & Intersections

Session 22: The ongoing presence of exclusionary LGBTQ+ policy at accredited schools of social work: Do we practice what we preach?


5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Closing Connections (sponsored by the KU Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty Staff Council)

Closing announcements and a fun evening event!

Host: Ash Wilson (they/them), Megan Paceley (she/they), and the SGD Faculty Staff Council



Pre-Recorded Panel Presentations

Parents, Parenthood & Family

Narratives of HIV: Discourse & Meaning Making

Drag Expression, Performance & Perception

Service Access Experiences: Beyond Awareness, Toward Inclusion

Queering Methodologies

Experiences in Higher Education

Health & Wellbeing


Pre-Recorded Poster Presentations

Perceived Belongingness as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Gender Minority Stressors & Mental Health Outcomes Among Transgender & Gender Diverse Emerging Adults

Centering the Margins: Depression Outcomes for Disabled LGBTQ+ Adults

Heteronormativity in Child Welfare is a Human Rights Violation

Testing the Moderating Role of Belongingness on the Relationship between Microaggressions & Mental Health among LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults

The moderating role of attachment to pets on the relationship between exposure to interpersonal microaggressions and depressive symptoms in an LGBTQ+ emerging adult sample

Barriers to Physical & Mental Health Care Help-Seeking among LGBTQ+ Individuals: A Mixed-Method Exploration in One Midwestern City


Pre-Recorded Artistic Presentation

Mirrored Fatality's Cocoon Webs




Canceled due to COVID-19

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2019

Hyatt Place—Champaign

​217 N. Neil St.

Champaign, IL 61820

10:00 to 1:00 p.m. Registration

11:00 to 12:30 p.m. Mentor Lunch


12:15 to 1 p.m. Poster Session

  • Attachment Identity as a Predictor of Relationship Satisfaction, Relationship Commitment, and Sexual Satisfaction among Heterosexual and Sexual-Minority Women (Amy L. Wright, Illinois State University)
  • What is chosen family?: A brief qualitative investigation of LGBTQ+ family units (Cole Milton, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale)
  • A Decolonial Exploration of the Intersections of the LGBTQ South Asian Community (Tanvi Singh, Roosevelt University)
  • Classifying Sexual Identities Beyond Labels (Alyssa Billington, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • LGBT* After Loss: A Mixed-Method Analysis on the effect of partner bereavement on interpersonal relationships and subsequent partnerships (Dr. Rachael D. Nolan and Ronald Davis, Kent State University)
  • Transgender and gender non-conforming bereavement (TGNC): A case study on complicated grief experienced and the effect of partner suicide on interpersonal relationships and subsequent partnerships of the bereaved (Dr. Rachael D. Nolan and Ronald Davis, Kent State University)
  • Comparison of the Healthcare Experiences and Healthcare Avoidance between Binary and Nonbinary Transgender Youth (Taylor Boyer, University of Pittsburgh)


1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Methodological Workshop

Building and Sustaining Community Partnerships

Led by: Dr. Megan Paceley, University of Kansas

3:00 to 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Applied Break Out Session


Queering higher education: Rethinking grading to support students and faculty

Presenter: Shawn N. Mendez, UNC Asheville


An important part of changing the current climate toward LGBTQ people is encouraging innovation and self-care for everyone, but especially for educators who have an important influence on students’ lives. “Our grading system is broken, yet we educators keep using it,” maintains Linda Nilson, author of Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time (2015). This workshop-style panel will introduce Nilson’s perspective (that grading requires an enormous investment of time by faculty but produces few benefits) and share faculty experiences with adopting specifications grading in their classes.

5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Social Event

  • Happy Hour at the Hyatt Bar & Lounge
  • Dinner on your own

FRIDAY MAY 24, 2019

Hyatt Place—Champaign

​217 N. Neil St.

Champaign, IL 61820


8:00 to 9:00 am: Registration and Breakfast

  • Coffee and light breakfast will be served

9:00 to 10:25 a.m. Breakout Session 1


Promoting Change Through Research (CEU)

  • Navigating Our Place in History (Rae-Anne Montague, Chicago State University)
  • Community-driven Responses to Address the HIV Epidemic among Sexual and Gender Minority Hispanics/Latinxs: Voices from Social Service Providers and Community Health Workers. (Omar Valentin, Temple University)
  • Conducting Mental Health Research for Change: The LGBTQ+ Youth Affirmative Mindfulness Project (Gio Iacono, University of Toronto)
  • Creating supportive living environments: Evaluation of efficacy (Elizabeth G. Holman, Bowling Green State University)
  • Conceptualizing community and community climate to promote social change: Perspectives of young trans people in the Midwest (Megan Paceley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Family Processes

  • Relational Turning Points for Parents and LGBTQ Children (Tee R. Tyler, Texas Christian University)
  • Experiences of Diverse Adolescents with LGBTQ Parents (Rachel H. Farr, University of Kentucky)
  • Personal Faith and Professional Ethics: Best Practice with the Families of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth (Sloan Okrey Anderson, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities)
  • Student Reflections Associated with Parent-LGBTQ Child Simulations (Tee R. Tyler, Texas Christian University)

10:25 to 10:40 a.m. Break 

10:40 to 12:05 p.m. Breakout Session 2


Community Organizations (CEU)

  • Characteristics and Correlates of LGBTQ-Serving Community-Based Organizations who Offer Services Specifically for Queer People of Color (Natasha D. Williams, University of Maryland)
  • A Census of LGBTQ Youth-Serving Community-Based Organizations in the United States (Jessica N. Fish, University of Maryland)
  • Latent Profiles of Supportive Environment for SGM Youth in Rural Settings (Matthew W. Austin, University of Arizona)
  • Promoting Empowerment-Based Service Settings for Transgender and Nonbinary Youth (M. Alex Wagaman, Virginia Commonwealth University)

Intersections of Race, Sexuality, and Gender

  • An Exploratory Analysis of The Sociopolitical Involvement of Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People of Color (Briana Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Being a Woman of Color, Presumed Straight:  An Exploration of the Life World Context of Bisexual Women of Color (Sarah Mitchell, University of Missouri)
  • Transgressing Che: Irina Layevska Echeverría Gaitán, Disability Politics, and Transgendering the New Man in Mexico, 1964-2001 (Robert Franco, Duke University)
  • Racialized Sexual Discrimination (RSD) and Psychological Wellbeing Among Young Black Gay/Bisexual (YBGBM) (Ryan Wade, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Masculinity and Mental Health: The Intersectional Challenges of Gay Black Men (Keith J. Watts, Virginia Commonwealth University)

12:05 to 1:35 p.m. Lunch & Keynote

  • Buffet lunch, including meat, vegetarian and vegan options, will be served
  • Student paper award presented
  • New faculty paper award presented
  • Keynote: Dr. Kevin Nadal, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Graduate Center at the City University of New York

1:35 to 1:50 p.m. Break

1:50 to 3:15 p.m. Breakout Session 3 


Educational Contexts (CEU)

  • School Climate and LGBT Adolescent Mental Health (Sharon Colvin, University of Pittsburgh)
  • “I still feel like I can’t quite be myself”: Bisexual Students’ Experiences with Invisibility, Marginalization, and Exclusion within LGBTQ Campus Spaces (Jayna Tavarez, University of North Carolina—Asheville)
  •  “I’m So GLAAD: An Examination into the Experience of the LGBTQ Student at the HBCU” (Naykishia D. Head, Bowling Green State University)
  • Latinx Youth Disclosure of Sexual Orientation to Parents, Friends, and School Adults (Zhenqiang Zhao, University of Arizona)

Adverse Experiences

  • Young Transgender Women Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Latent Class Analysis of Protective Processes (Rachel C. Garthe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Developmental Reasons Sexual Minority Emerging Adults Engage in Substance Use: A Pilot Comparison of Heterosexual and Non-Heterosexual Individuals (Jacob Goffnett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Victimization and Suicidal Ideation Among LGBQ Youth and Students with Disabilities: An Examination of Intersecting Identities (Matthew King, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Minority Capacity Framework: Unstably housed SGM individuals and families in rural communities (Jasmine Routon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


3:15 to 3:40 p.m. Break


3:40 to 5:05 p.m. Breakout Session 4

Behavioral Health Concerns for Trans and Gender Non-conforming People

Invited Moderator: Howard Brown Health Center

  • Howard Brown Health will provide a 1 hour continuing education for ALL licensed professionals in Illinois, including, CNE, CME, CE for SW, PT, OT, PsyD and Pharm through the Rush University Inter-Professional Continuing Education Office focused on increasing capacity for Trans and Gender nonconforming individuals. The training will focus on best practices for patient-focused care, trauma informed care, and harm reduction.

Ambiguous Loss Panel

Invited Moderator: Jenifer K. McGuire

  • Ambiguous loss (AL) is often described as “here, but not here” and represents a loss with which cultural scripts are unavailable, disrupting relationships and leading to an upheaval or questioning of social roles (e.g., am I still a part of this family? If so, how?). Each of the four papers in this symposium explore understudied identities in the context of AL research while providing support for extending research on AL to new contexts, utilizing quantitative approaches, and focusing on the relationship to one’s self.

2018 Tentative Schedule

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018

I Hotel and Conference Center

1900 S. 1st St.

Champaign, IL 61820

9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Registration

Methodological Workshops

10:00 to 12:00 p.m. Quantitative Approaches to Intersectionality

  • Led by Dr. Russell Toomey, University of Arizona.
  • Dr. Russ Toomey is an an associate professor of Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. Dr. Toomey's research examines the processes by which youth with multiple marginalized identities thrive and are resilient despite the barriers and challenges they encounter in society (e.g., discrimination). His workshop will focus on the integration of an intersectionality lens in quantitative research with LGBTQ populations.

12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Lunch


1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Exploring Ethnographic Methods

  • Led by Dr. Soo Ah Kwon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Dr. Soo Ah Kwon is the author of Uncivil Youth: Race, Activism, and Affirmative Governmentality (Duke University Press, 2013) and co-editor of South Korea’s Educational Exodus: The Life and Times of Early Study Abroad (University of Washington Press, 2015). She is currently writing a book titled Youth Participation and the Making of Global Citizens. The workshop will provide a brief outline of ethnographic methods. Attendees will develop an ethnographic methodology plan as an outcome.


3:30 to 4:00 p.m. Break

4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Panel Discussion

5:30  to 7:00 p.m. Social Event: LGBTQ Trivia

  • Includes:
    • Entertainment by Leggs McMuffin, award winning Champaign-Urbana drag queen
    • Pizza dinner (vegetarian and meat options only; no vegan options)
    • Prizes for winning trivia teams
    • Cash bar available from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018

I Hotel and Conference Center

1900 S. 1st St.

Champaign, IL 61820

8:00  to 9:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

  • Coffee and light breakfast will be served.
  • Poster presenters should drop off their posters at the registration table - they will be displayed for you.

9:00 to 10:20 a.m. Breakout Session 1

Clinical Perspectives (CEU)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Anita Hund

  • An overview Consensual Qualitative Research methodology in LGBT research (Douglas Knutson, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale)
  • Preparing Counseling Students for Clinical Practice with Parents and LGBTQ Children (Tee Tyler, Beatrice Robinson, Farren Barnett, Hunter Fischer, Elizabeth Holman, Cassidy Spaeth, Texas Christian University)
  • Adversity, Discrimination, and Depression among Sexual Minority Individuals (Briana McGeough, University of California, Berkeley)
  • A Profile of Therapy-Seeking Transgender Clients and Implications for Therapists (Jennifer Coppola, Tristan Martin, & Rashmi Gangamma, Syracuse University Department of Marriage and Family Therapy)

Queer Research in Rural Contexts

Invited Moderator: Dr. Ramona Oswald

  • Where Do They Turn? An Examination of the Social Support Provided for African American LGBTQ Youth Living in Rural Areas (Briana Williams, Claflin University)
  • Diverse community contexts and support for SGM youth: A mixed methods study (Megan S. Paceley, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare; Jessica N. Fish, Aaron Conrad, Nikolaus Schuetz)
  • Working to improve the health and quality of life of aging LGBTQ individuals: the KY LGBTQ aging needs assessment (Aaron Guest & Beth Hunter, University of Kentucky- Graduate Center for Gerontology)
  • Queer Mobility vs. Rootedness: A Case Study of Queer Adults’ Perspectives on their Experiences as Youth in a Rural Community. (University of Arizona, Department of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies)

10:20 to 10:40 a.m. Break 

10:40 to 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session 2

Family Processes (CEU)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Aaron Ebata

  • Economic marginality among LGB-parented families: A systematic review (Jasmine Routon, Yang Wang, Shuo Xu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Cultural Discourses from Parent and LGBTQ Child Conversations (Tee Tyler, Beatrice Robinson, Farren Barnett, Hunter Fischer, Elizabeth Holman, Cassidy Spaeth, Texas Christian University)
  • 'That is the most important thing, that she is happy:' Resilient parenting of a transgender young adult (Samuel H. Allen, University of Maryland; Jenifer K. McGuire, Jory M. Catalpa, University of Minnesota)

Queer Intersections

Invited Moderator: Dr. Shawn Mendez

  • Racism Among Queer Men Who Use Geosocial Networking Applications: A Review and Suggestions For Future Research (David Hutsell & DeDe Wohlfarth, Spalding University, School of Professional Psychology)
  • “The In-Between Spaces of Those Labels”: Lived Experiences of Bisexual Women of Color (Sarah N. Mitchell, Marilyn Coleman, & Lawrence Ganong, University of Missouri - Columbia)
  • The Case for Latinx: Analyzing Differences in Political Behavior Among Latinx (Melina Juarez, University of New Mexico)

12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Lunch & Keynote

  • Buffet lunch, including meat, vegetarian and vegan options, will be served
  • Student paper award presented

1:30 to 2:10 p.m. Poster Session   

  • Perceptions of Acceptance Among LGBT College Students Involved in Intramural and Recreational Sport (Christine Fuston, Okahoma State University- Counseling Psychology)
  • Recollections of First Contact with Gender and Sexual Minority Concepts: A Retrospective Theme Analysis (Samuel T. Brunn & Rachel H. Farr, University of Kentucky)
  • Single Women's Activism in the Era of Trump (Erin S. Lavender-Stott, Virginia Tech)

2:10 to 3:30 p.m. Breakout Session 3

Gender, Sexuality, and Identity (CEU)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Jen McGuire

  • Retrospective Narratives of Childhood: Feelings of Difference Based on Gender and Sexuality in Emerging Adults (Kyle A. Simon, C. P. Della-Vázquez,  S. T. Bruun, & R. H. Farr; University of Kentucky)
  • Not Trans Enough? A Qualitative Study of Diversity in Genderqueer Identity (Quin Morrow, Jenifer McGuire, University of Minnesota, Department of Family Social Sciences;  Stephen T. Russell, University of Texas at Austin)
  • Faith Community Boundary Ambiguity for Transgender Youth and Young Adults (S. Okrey Anderson, University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Family Social Science)
  • Navigating a sexual minority self-identity: Investigating plurisexual persons' adoption of a sexual identifier (Alyssa Billington, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Andrew S. Walters, Northern Arizona University)


Current Social and Political Climate

Invited Moderator: Dr. Monica McDermott

  • Employment Discrimination and Barriers to Employment by transgender people (Gina Rosich, Fordham University)
  • Changing Perspectives, Widening Views: Queer Identities on Evangelical Christian Campuses (Kaitlin A. Black, Salve Regina University)
  • Fleeing the Closet: Refugee Programs and LGBTQ Policy in  the Asylum Seeking Process (Gaurav Lalsinghani, University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Statistics)
  • Those Who Forget History: How We Can Save Ourselves in the Age of Trump (Joyce D. Meyer)


3:30 to 3:50 p.m. Break

3:50 to 5:10 p.m. Breakout Session 4-Panel

Decentering Ethnocentrism in Research on LGBTQ Families of Color: A Transnational Intersectional Approach  (Shawn N. Mendez, UNC Asheville; Suisui Wang, Indiana University-Bloomington; Amy Brainer, University of Michigan- Dearborn)


5:10 to 8:00 p.m. Meet Up networking event for dinner and drinks


2nd floor Ballroom

Illini Union

1401 W Green St.

Urbana, IL 61801

9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Registration

  • located on the 2nd floor outside the ballroom

Methodological Workshops


10:00 to 12:00 p.m. Connecting with LGBTQ Communities Through Culturally Competent Internet Research

  • Led by Dr. Rachel Magee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

12:00 to 1:30 pm Lunch (on your own).

  • There are many restaurants located in the Basement Food Court of the Illini Union
  • Many other lunch locations located on Green Street just West of the Illini Union (exit the building through the North doors that face Green St (not the quad side) and turn left)

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Engaging the Messy Work of Community Situated Research

  • Led by Dr. Jeananne Nichols, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3:30 to 4:00 p.m. Break

  • Men’s and Women’s restrooms located on 2nd floor
  • All gender restroom located on 1st floor, Northeast side near room 104

4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: Academia and Activism


  • This panel will discuss the role that Universities can play in advocating for social change alongside community activists. Panel members will discuss their organization’s work and how it relates to the broader context of academia. A discussion will follow, including questions from the audience.
  • Includes presenters from: The Uniting Pride (UP) Center of Champaign County, Champaign-Urbana, Community United Church of Christ, Black Lives Matter: Champaign-Urbana, and The Education Justice Project of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Social Event: LGBTQ Trivia

  • Includes:
    • Entertainment by Leggs McMuffin, award winning Champaign-Urbana drag queen
    • Pizza dinner (vegetarian and meat options only; no vegan options)
    • Prizes for winning trivia teams

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cash bar available

FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2017

Illini Union

1401 W Green St.

Urbana, IL 61801

8:30 to 9:00 a.m. Registration, 3rd floor outside of room 314

  • Coffee and light breakfast will be served.
  • Poster presenters should drop off their posters at the registration table - they will be displayed for you.

9:00 to 10:20 a.m. Breakout Session 1

Trans* Innovations (Room 314 A)

Invited Moderator: S. Okrey-Anderson

  • Beyond Barriers: A photovoice project on transgender healthcare access. (Emily Pike, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Client centered therapy as applied to work with transgender and gender diverse clients. (Douglas Knutson & Julie M. Koch, Oklahoma State University)
  • Perspectives of caregivers of transgender and gender nonconforming children with ADHD. (Derek J. Mahan, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities & Katherine A. Kuvalanka, Miami University of Ohio) 

Family Processes (314 B; CEUs available)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Holman

  • Sexual minority adults raised in religious families: A national survey of family and college life. (Katie Heiden-Rootes, Ashley Wiegand, Dasha Carver, Saint Louis University)
  • A grounded theory study of the parent and LGBTQ child relational process. (Tee R. Tyler & Jenna Stephenson, Texas Christian University)
  • A snapshot of the experiences of pansexual adolescents: A descriptive exploration of disclosure experiences. (Mary R. Nedela, Michelle M. Murray, & Erika L. Grafsky, Virginia Tech)
  • Social identity transitioning in the context of LGBTQ close relationships. (Tee R. Tyler, Texas Christian University)

10:20 to 10:40 a.m. Break (all gender restroom located on the first floor, NE side)

10:40 to 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session 2

Queer Intersections (314 A)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Julie Dowling

  • Serodiscordance: Divergent narratives of two HIV positive gay Black men from the southern US. (Samuel H Allen, University of Maryland)
  • Influence of sexual orientation disclosure, family support, spirituality, and community involvement in the well being of LGBT+ Muslims. (Greta L. Stuhlsatz, Shane A. Kavanaugh, Ashley B. Taylor, Tricia K. Neppl, & Brenda J. Lohman, Iowa State University)
  • Racial and queer socialization in Black and mixed race LGQ parent families. (Shawn N. Mendez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Community based research with LGBT affirming Black churches about the HIV AIDS crisis. (Terrence O. Lewis, West Chester University of Pennsylvania)

Clinical Perspectives (314 B; CEUs available)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Erika Grafsky

  • Coping strategies, substance use, and mental health among sexual and gender minority youth. (Megan S. Paceley, University of Kansas, Jessica Fish, University of Texas – Austin, & Nikolaus Schuetz, University of Kansas)
  • Implementing attachment based family therapy in community settings for suicidal LGBTQ youth. (Jody Russon, Drexel University)
  • The PROSY Project: A program evaluation of a piloted multifaceted mental health service project for black sexual minority adolescents in foster care and the child welfare system. (Eddie D. Burks, Adler University)
  • LGBTQ psychology graduate students: Is our space affirming? (Dawn Brown, Miguel Herrera, Divya Robin, & Anita Hund, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Lunch & Keynote (CEUs available)

  • Buffet lunch, including meat, vegetarian and vegan options, will be served
  • Illini Union 2nd Floor Ballroom
  • Student paper award presented
  • Keynote: “The Family Acceptance Project,” Dr. Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University

2:00 to 3:20 p.m. Breakout Session 3

Sex & Romance (314 A) 

Invited Moderator: Dr. Kale Monk

  • Relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and attachment identity between heterosexual and sexual minority females. (Amy L. Wright, Louisiana State University)
  • Discussions of bisexuality among sexual minority women of the baby boom cohort. (Erin S. Lavender-Stott, Virginia Tech)
  • “We are two of the lucky ones:” Marriage and family well-being for same-sex couples. (Heather R. Kennedy, Steven Dreesman, & Rochelle L. Dalla, University of Northern-Iowa)
  • Wading into the polyamorous dating pool with gender diverse folks. (Julie Walsh, Indiana University)

Community Engaged Research (314 B; CEUs available)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Aaron Ebata

  • Community capacity for LGBT parent families living in nonmetropolitan communities. (Jasmine Routon & Ramona Faith Oswald, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Gay Dayton: An oral history project. (Jim McKinnon, Dayton LGBT Center, Dayton, OH)
  • Non-binary identities and gender expression: A photovoice pilot. (Marea K. Kinney & Richard A. Brandon-Friedman, Indiana University)

3:20 to 3:40 p.m. Break (all gender restroom located on the first floor, NE side)

3:40 to 5:00 p.m. Breakout Session 4

Generation Gender and Sexual Minority (314 A; CEUs available)

Invited Moderator: Jasmine Routon

  • Generation GSM: Research and practice with today's gender and sexual minority youth

Queer Methods (314 B)

Invited Moderator: Dr. Ramona Faith Oswald

  • Queer methods: Toward gender literate measurement. (Jory M. Catalpa & Jenifer McGuire, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)
  • Eliciting minority stress: The development of novel film-based stimuli for experimental research on sexual minorities. (Ilana Seager & Amelia Aldao, The Ohio State University)
  • Reflections from a queer researcher doing queer research. (Kristen E. Benson, North Dakota State University)


5:00 to 5:15 p.m. Break (all gender restroom located on the first floor, NE side)

5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Poster Session and Networking (2nd floor Ballroom)

  • Poster presenters should stand near their posters for the first 30 minutes
  • Snacks provided
  • Cash bar available


  • Experimental induction of minority stress and peer influence: What is most linked to risky decision making by sexual minority adults? (Hunter Hahn, Ilana Seager; Nathaniel Haines, & Woo-Young Ahn, The Ohio State University)
  • A exploration of workplace experiences amongst self-identified minority beginning therapists. (Natasha Williams, Purdue University Northwest)
  • Gay male teachers: Problems with passion and policy. (Alex Dzurick, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Quality of life for the US military LGB service member in open service. (Karolina Przegienda, Adler University)
  • Radical honesty: An LGBTQ music educator’s negotiation of professional identity and responsibility. (Latasha Thomas, Michigan State University)
  • The relationship between sexuality, professional identity integration, and empathy in the communal workplace. (Casey Vázquez, Kyle A Simon, Melanie M Henderson, Jacob T Henicheck, & Rachel H Farr, University of Kentucky.)
  • Retrospective feelings of difference among sexual minority and heterosexual adults. (Kyle A. Simon, University of Kentucky)
  • Transgender youth in school music ensembles. (Emma Joy Jampole, University of Wisconsin Madison)
  • Understanding gender fluidity. (Kelli Zenner & Maya Gann-Bociek, Southern Illinois University)

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2016 

Methodological Workshops: I Hotel Illinois BC Ballroom

1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Innovative recruitment strategies and working with qualitative data (Ramona F. Oswald, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Finding and using large datasets in LGBTQ+ research (Jessica N. Fish, University of Texas - Austin)


Poster Presentations and Social Networking: I Hotel Illinois BC Ballroom

5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2016

7:30 to 8:00 a.m. Registration open at the I-Hotel and coffee and pastries will be served


8:00 to  9:20 a.m. Breakout Session 1

Focusing on Trans* Youth (Knowledge Room)

Invited Moderator: Maurice Gattis

  • Suicide as self-preservation: Contradictory resilience in trans-identified youth (Quintin Hunt, Jenifer K. McGuire, & Jory M. Catalpa, University of Minnesota)
  • Family transitions: A qualitative analysis of ambiguous loss among transgender youth (Jory M. Catalpa & Jenifer McGuire, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)
  • The mental health experiences of transgender high school students in Dane County, Wisconsin: Results from a representative sample (June Paul & Andrea Larson, University of Wisconsin-Madison) 

Violence and Abuse (Innovation Room)                   

Invited Moderator: Jennifer Hardesty

  • Examining the Access Barriers to Emergency Domestic Violence Shelter from the Perspective of Transgender Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (Carla Smith, Urban Resource Institute)
  • A Mixed-methods Study of Sexual Violence and Familial Support in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults (Sasha Canan & Kristen Jozkowski, University of Arkansas)
  • Coming Out Competent: Suggested Modifications of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the LGBTQ+ Population (Tabitha Evans & Cathleen Schild, Pacific University, School of Professional Psychology) 

9:20 to 9:40 a.m. Break

9:40 to 11:00 a.m. Breakout Session 2

Contextual Support (Knowledge Room)                   

Invited Moderator: TBA

  • Family Support, Health, and Happiness Among Black and Latina/o Sexual Minorities (Brandi Woodell & Alexis Swendener, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Peer victimization, school-belonging, and suicidality among LGBQ youth: Do parental support and self-compassion dampen poor outcomes? (Tyler Hatchel, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • The Relationship Between Types of Social Support on the Mental Health Among Emerging Adult Gay and Bisexual Cisgender Men and Transgender Women of Color Who Have Transacted Sex (Jordon Bosse, Louis F. Graham, & William D Lopez,  University of Massachusetts) 

The Post Marriage Equality Agenda (Innovation Room)      

Invited Moderator: Brian Ogolsky

  • The Influence of Individuals' Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage on Experiences of Stress, Instability, and Relationship Maintenance (TeKisha Rice, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • Marriage equality: Insights from members of married and non-married same-sex couples in Mid-West (Heather R. Kennedy, University of Northern Iowa)
  • Narrative (counter-)mobilizations in U.S. same-sex marriage struggle (Alex Kulick, University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Separation and custody negotiations in sexual and gender minority (SGM) couples (Eugene L. Hall & Jenifer K. McGuire, University of Minnesota)

11:00 to 12:00 p.m. Lunch

12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Keynote Address with Q&A

  • Juan Battle, PhD, The City University of New York

1:30 to 2:50 p.m. Breakout Session 3

Negotiating Identity in Context (Knowledge Room)          

Invited Moderator: Megan Paceley

  • Fitting in: A study of lesbian mothers in rural southeastern Michigan (Allison Ranusch, Eastern Michigan University)
  • Lived experiences of two gay music educators: A comparative case study (Sarah Minette, Arizona State University)
  • The cross-contextual effects of minority stress processes across the work/family border (Elizabeth G. Holman, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Barriers to Help Seeking (Innovation Room)                      

Invited Moderator: Anita Hund

  • Alienation, fear, and powerlessness: One transgender individuals experience of incarceration (Megan Reese, Pacific University)
  • Services to LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth: Gaps and recommendations (Elaine M. Maccio, Louisiana State University; Kristin M. Ferguson-Colvin, Arizona State University)
  • Promising programs for LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth (Kristin M. Ferguson-Colvin, Arizona State University; Elaine M. Maccio, Louisiana State University)
  • Determinants of preventative healthcare delay among transgender and gender nonconforming college students in the United States (Jordon Bosse, University of Massachusetts)

2:50 to 3:10 p.m. Break

3:10 to 4:30 p.m. Breakout Session 4

Parenting & Socialization (Knowledge Room)                    

Invited Moderator: Kate Kuvalanka

  • An intersectional perspective on family socialization for societal prejudices: Experiences of preparation for bias among latina/o LGB youth (Russell B. Toomey, Maura Shramko, Karla Anhalt, &Melissa Flores, University of Arizona)
  • Gender and sexual minority youth in Christian home schools:  Perceptions of climate and support (Sarah Okrey Anderson, University of Illinois)
  • Queer and ethnoracial socialization: Understanding LGB parent families of color (Shawn Mendez, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • “I’m already in this community, but it is still challenging”: On being a lesbian with a transgender child (Samuel H. Allen & Katherine A. Kuvalanka, University of Maryland)

Emerging Concerns in Sampling & Measurement (Innovation Room)      

Invited Moderator: Aaron Ebata

  • Methodological issues conducting LGBT research in the United States and Turkey (Sierra K. Dimberg, Gulsah Kemer, Jeffrey Mintert, & Ezgi Toplu-Demirtas , Arizona State University)
  • An Empirical Assessment of Two Online Recruitment Mechanisms in Research with Same-Sex, Gender Non-Conforming, and Transgender Couples (Claire A. Wood, Hongjian Cao,&  W. Roger Mills-Koonce, University of North Carolina-Greensboro)
  • Psychometric testing of The LGBT Climate Inventory:  Hostility and support are not two sides of the same coin (Jessica N. Fish, University of Texas- Austin;  Elizabeth Holman & Ramona F. Oswald, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Abbie E. Goldberg, Clark University)
  • Inclusive and exclusive approaches to studying sexual minorities: I embrace you but my inclusion criteria does not (Rebecca Schlesinger, Kathleen Alto, Stefan Jadaszewski, & Steven Palmieri, The University of Akron) 

4:30 to 4:50 p.m. Break

​4:50 to 6:10 p.m. Breakout Session 5: Panel Discussions

Building LGBTQ Research Partnerships Between Universities and K-12 Public Schools (Knowledge Room)  

  • Johnell Bentz & Michael Parrish, Rainbow Bookbag


Becoming a Sexual and Gender Minority Scholar: Advice for Students and Young Professionals (Innovation Room)

  • Jessica N. Fish, University of Texas-Austin; Sarah Steelman, Virginia Tech; Ramona Oswald, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Kate Kuvalanka, Miami University; Russell Toomey, University of Arizona; Megan Paceley, University of Kansas


1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Latent Class Analysis (methodological workshop)

  • Led by Dr. Jessica Fish, University of Arizona
  • ACES Library, UIUC (1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL)
  • Monsanto Room (in the basement) 

3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Participatory Action Research (methodological workshop)

  • Led by Dr. M. Alex Wagaman, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • ACES Library, UIUC (1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL)
  • Monsanto Room (in the basement)

Dinner is not provided.

FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015

8:00 to 8:30 a.m. Registration open at the I-Hotel

  • Coffee and pastries will be served.


8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Keynote address with Q&A

  • Researching LGBTQ Families in a Time of Change
  • Dr. Abbie Goldberg, Clark University
  • Illinois BC Ballroom

10:00 to 10:20 a.m. BREAK


10:20 to 11:40 a.m. Breakout session 1

Law and Policy: Changing the Context (Loyalty room)

  • Legal recognition of same-sex relationship: New possibilities for research on the role of marriage law in household labor allocation (Deborah A. Widiss, Indiana University)
  • Marriage equality policy and well-being for members of same-sex couples (Heather R. Kennedy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Research with and for LGBTQ youth (Excellence Room)

  • Gender, body size, and body image: A qualitative analysis of transgender youth (Jennifer L. Doty, Jory M. Catalpa, Na Zhang, Jenifer McGuire, University of Minnesota)
  • Body art as representations of identity among transgender youth (Alison J. Chrisler, Michigan State University; Jenifer K. McGuire, University of Minnesota)
  • Out from under the umbrella: Addressing the unique needs of bisexually attracted young adults (A. Del Quest, University of North Dakota)
  • Intersections and identities: Black LGBQ youths' perceptions of parental acceptance/rejection and psychological wellbeing (Monique D. Walker, Drexel University)

11:40 to 12:30 p.m. Lunch (included in registration costs)

  • Buffet lunch will be served.
  • Illinois BC Ballroom
  • The Outstanding Student Paper Award will be presented.

12:30 to 1:50 p.m. Breakout session 2

Rural Invisibility (Loyalty room)

  • The health of rural gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men: Engaging communities to move from invisibility to action (Randolph D. Hubach, Colton Brown, Joseph M. Currin, Oklahoma State University)

LGBTQ Victimization and Homophobia in Schools (Excellence Room)

  • Variations in school-based victimization and associations with psychological wellbeing across transgender subgroups (June Paul, Maurice Gattis, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Preliminary qualitative findings associated with experiences of homophobia in the classroom from the social work student speaks out survey (Michael P. Dentato, Loyola University Chicago)
  • Are school policies focused on sexual orientation and gender identity associated with less bullying? Teachers' perspectives. (Jack Day, Stephen Russell, University of Arizona; Russell Toomey, Kent State University; Salvatore Ioverno, Sapienza University of Rome)

1:50 to 2:00 p.m. BREAK


2:00 to 3:20 p.m. Breakout session 3

Methodological Considerations in Diverse Social Contexts (Loyalty room)

  • Finding the hidden participant: Recruitment experiences from two qualitative studies with doubly vulnerable LGB populations (Amy Ellard-Gray, University of Guelph)
  • Using mixed methods to engage with social change and the changing social context for LGBT populations (Megan S. Paceley, Amanda Hwu, Hortencia Arizpe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Challenges of conducting sexual minority research in Southwest Virginia (Erin S. Lavender-Stott, Erika Grafsky, Sarah Steelman, Hoa Nguyen, Emily Haugen, John Wall, Virginia Tech)

Queering Relationship Research (Excellence Room)

  • Men's friendships: When, where, and why do identities matter? (Jeremy Robinett, Western Illinois University)
  • Coming out experiences of lesbian adoptees (Theresa A. Cain, Smith College)
  • When two become one: Erasure of bi-identity in monogamous relationships (Sarah M. Steelman, Erika L. Grafsky, Virginia Tech)
  • Fatherhood in America: Path analysis using a national dataset and methodological challenges in a queer analysis of family formation (Emma C. Potter, Tina Savla, Christine Kaestle, Virginia Tech)

3:20 to 3:40 p.m. BREAK

3:40 to 5:00 p.m. Breakout session 4

Moving Forward and Creating Change (Loyalty room)

  • The school experiences of transgender and gender noncomonforming youth in Wisconsin (Maurice Gattis, Sara McKinnon, Lane Hanson, & Sean Hubbard University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Ally as a verb: Allying for sexual minorities in the classroom (Jennifer Thomas, Christopher Cayari, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Countering the norm, re-authoring our lives: The promise counter-storytelling has for LGBTQ youth (Lorraine C. Obejero, M. Alex Wagaman, Virginia Commonwealth University)

Building Social Supports for LGBTQ Populations (Excellence Room)

  • The emotional wellbeing of mothers of gender nonconforming children: Predictors, moderators, and reflections (Sam Allen, University of Maryland; Katherine Kuvalanka, Miami University; Leigh Leslies, University of Maryland)
  • LGBQ social support profiles and their association with mental health and substance use (Jessica N. Fish, Jack K. Day, Andrea Tanaka, Stephen T. Russell, Arnold H. Grossman, University of Arizona)
  • "If you woke up tomorrow and homosexuality was completely accepted…": Descriptions of the total acceptance homosexuality by members of a university's LGBTAQ community (Craig Tollini, Julie Herbstrith, Sharrice Hewlett-Boyd, Marjorie Hurtado, Western Illinois University)
  • Support, hostility, and LGBTQ well-being: The role of religion, community, and family (Elizabeth G. Holman, Sarah Okrey-Anderson, Ramona Faith Oswald, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

2nd Annual LGBT Research Symposium: Intersectional Identities in LGBT Research


UIUC School of Social Work

1010 W. Nevada Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Research Work Groups

Based on last year's participants' recommendations, the Symposium Steering Committee will create topic-based Research Work    

Groups. A research workgroup is an opportunity for peers to discuss, critique and suggest solutions for issues related to LGBT research. Participants will have the opportunity to share manuscript drafts or ongoing research projects with one another. These workgroups may also be used to exchange theoretical concepts or work through preliminary research ideas. Workgroups and topics will be set based on those participants who have indicated an interest in the symposium event, however, participants are free to move between workgroups and engage in multiple conversations. 


THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014

I-Hotel and Conference Center

1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL

Panel Discussion A: Methods – An Exploration of Identity


“Sexual behavior in a national sample of older adults: Descriptive findings, unasked questions, and missed opportunities” Maria T. Brown, PhD, LMSW, Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute; Brian R. Grossman, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago

“A rose by any other name: Implications of multiple methods of classifying sexual orientation on relationships research” David W. Hutsell, BS, University of Cincinnati; Sarah W. Whitton, PhD, University of Cincinnati

 “Reconstructing the mosaic: Why intersectionality matters in sexual minority research” Jessica Fish, Florida State University

“Where have all the LGBT elders gone?: Examining the universe of publications on the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP)” Brian R. Grossman, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago; Maria T. Brown, PhD, LMSW, Syracuse  University Aging Studies Institute

Panel Discussion B: Detroit Youth Passages Project


“Detroit youth passages: Addressing economic crises, residential instability, and sexual vulnerability among African-American  and Latino/a gender and sexually marginalized communities” Louis Graham, PhD, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; William Lopez, University of Michigan; Jerry Peterson, Executive Director, Ruth Ellis Center; Alex Kulick, University of Michigan


Panel Discussion C: Methods – An Exploration of Measurement


“Assessing measures of community climate for nonmetropolitan LGBTQ adults” Elizabeth G. Holman, MS, MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ramona F. Oswald, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“Methodological issues in quantitatively studying LGBT people” Jasmine Routon, Western Kentucky University

“Pilot testing a measurement tool assessing service provider practice behavior related to LGBTQ youth in treatment” Megan E. Gandy, Virginia Commonwealth University

Panel Discussion D: Participatory Research Approaches


“Youth voices and social change in LGBTQ research: Reflecting on and learning from participatory research approaches” Alex Kulick, University of Michigan; Ira Bohm-Sanchez, Phoenix College; Alex Wagaman, Virginia Commonwealth University; Laura Wernick, Fordham University; Louis F. Graham, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Keynote address

Keynote Speaker: Russell Toomey, PhD

“More than just Queer or Trans*: Exploring youth risk and resilience through a quantitative intersectional lens”

Dr. Toomey is an Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University. His research examines why marginalized youth in the United States (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth; Latino youth) experience disparate rates of poor health (mental and physical) developmental and academic outcomes, and attempts to identify the processes that promote well-being and reduce risk for these populations.

Dr. Toomey's presentation.

Panel Discussion E: A Discussion of Race and LGBTQ Identity


“Forging the intersection: Creating affirming space on campus for LGBT-identified people and/or people of color” Stephanie J.  Cunningham, PhD, The University of Southern Indiana

“A mediation on queer strategies of kinship and queer familia at Java High” Tanya Diaz-Kozlowski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“Understanding the importance of context and intersecting identities: A measure of racial exposure for sexual minorities in rural communities” Shawn Mendez, BA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Panel Discussion F: Family Disclosure and Support


“The impact of family support on depression and depressive symptoms in lesbians: A review” Judith Leitch, University of Maryland-Baltimore

“Family stress theory: Understanding family reactions to coming out” Alison Chrisler, Michigan State University

“Experiences and recommendations for coming out as reported by a sample of resilient young sexual minority men” Laura Jane Bry, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Panel Discussion G: Practice with LGBTQ Populations


“Where is the social work literature on LGB populations? A 15 year review of the literature” Michael D. Pelts, University of Missouri

“Incidences of bias in the medical encounter of transgender patients” Molly Russo, The Wright Institute

“Access with pride: Lessening anxiety and other barriers to LGBTQ-related information in libraries” Taylor Parks, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Panel Discussion H: LGBTQ Youth


“Aspiring for more: The educational consequences of bullying on sexual and gender minority youth” Kevin Claybren, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Safe in the stacks: Public libraries as community spaces for homeless LGBTQ youth” Julie Ann Winkelstein, PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Edwin Cortez, PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Reid Isaac Boehm, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“Community climate and positive youth development in nonmetropolitan gender and sexual minority youth” Hortencia Arizpe, BSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


I-Hotel and Conference Center

Champaign, IL

Panel Discussion A: Pushing the Boundaries of Theory and Method in LGBTQ Research


"Do ask, Do tell! Sampling issues in a study of LGBT military and veterans.” Christopher Cotten, PhD, Department of Social Work, University of West Florida

"The interpersonal context of self in society: Incorporating relational influences and outcomes to Minority Stress Theory.”  Jessica N. Fish, Department of Family and Child Sciences, Florida State University

“Identity and daily experience in queer emerging adults.” Catherine Rogers, Department of Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University

Methodological challenges and opportunities in studying the LGBT suicide ‘epidemic’ from an interactional perspective.”  Stephen DiDomenico, Department of Communication, Rutgers University

Panel Discussion B: Research on LGBTQ Concerns in Later Life


“Sexual identity development in same-sex attracted older adults.” Maya Pignatore, Nova Southeastern University

“Gender transitions in later life.” Vanessa D. Fabbre, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

“Awareness and preparedness of medical social workers regarding the needs of LGBT elders. Why it matters: A review of current literature and practice in a cohort of hospitals in central Pennsylvania.” Donald Anklam, Christina Reardon, MSW & Shiloh D. Erdley, LSW, DSW, College of Health Professions and School of Social Work, Temple University-Harrisburg

Panel Discussion C: LGBTQ Research from an Intersectional Perspective


“Testimonios of a Marimacha: Ethnographic tensions and resistance @ the Alliance School Milwaukee.” Tanya Diaz-Kozlowski, Education Policy Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“An exploratory study of sexual minority career decisions at a Historically Black University.” Latashia Harris, Women and Gender Studies, George Mason University

“Understanding the whole: The integration of race and sexual orientation.” Darren Whitfield, MSW, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver

“The methodological challenges and opportunities for researching religious identity among LGBTQ populations.” Lance C.  Keene & Megan S. Paceley, School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Panel Discussion D: Focus on the (LGBTQ) Family


“The state of LGBTQ family research: A critical reflection for inspiring change.” Kyle Zrenchik & Jory Catalpa, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

“Conceptualizing parent and LGBT child relationships: Integrating a relational dialectic framework.” Tee R. Tyler, LCSW &  Yolanda C. Padilla, LMSW-AP, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin

“Who’s your daddy? The invisibility of female-born genderqueer parents.” Kimberly C. Alston-Stepnitz, Clinicial Psychology,  The Wright Institute


Plenary Speakers:

Cheryl Angelaccio, Lambda Legal

Naomi Goldberg, Movement Advancement Project

Thank you to our fantastic keynote speakers. Both Cheryl and Naomi provided insightful evidence as to how research can and should inform practice and policy work. 

Panel Discussion E: Research with and for Service Providers


“Bringing awareness to gender role conflict in gay men.” Alexander Levine, School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University

Double discrimination, strategic outness: Implications for clinical work with bisexual clients.” Elizabeth A. Clark, M.A., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

“Immersion learning for LGBT cultural competence.” Teresa L. Beadlescomb & Lucy Mercier, Department of Social Work &  Youth Services, Saginaw Valley State University; Rena Harold, School of Social Work, Michigan State University

“Service providers’ attitudes toward LGBTQ youth in a mental health agency setting.” Megan E. Gandy, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University

Panel Discussion F: The ‘T’ in LGBTQ Research: Conversations on Gender in Research


“My cisgender comeuppance: A researcher’s cautionary tale.” Christopher Cotten, PhD, Department of Social Work, University  of West Florida

"Managing trans identity: A Foucauldean analysis of proposed changes for the DSM 5 regarding transgender mental health."    Zooey Pook, Oakland University

“Growing up LGBT in America.” Anne E. Nicoll, PhD, MSW, Nicoll Consulting & Ellen Kahn, Human Rights Campaign

“Gender non-conforming individuals and their family experiences.” Jessica Metcalf, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law, University of Florida