Heterosexist Discrimination and LGBQ Activism: Examining a Moderated Mediation Model

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Abstract

Although the negative outcomes of minority stress for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) individuals have been well researched in the psychological literature, potential positive coping mechanisms to minority stress remain understudied. The present study examined the link between heterosexist discrimination (i.e., sexual orientation–based experiences of harassment, rejection, and discrimination) and LGBQ activism (i.e., engagement in activities aimed at improving the lives of LGBQ people) among 867 LGBQ adults. Potential mediators (i.e., LGBQ relational connectedness, search for meaning, and heterosexism awareness), moderators (i.e., LGBQ identity centrality and perceived efficacy for collective action), and moderated mediation of this link were also studied. Results revealed that heterosexist discrimination was directly and indirectly (via search for meaning and heterosexism awareness) related to LGBQ activism. Identity centrality moderated the link between heterosexist discrimination and heterosexism awareness and indicated support for moderated mediation via conditional process analyses. More heterosexist discrimination predicted higher levels of heterosexist awareness for LGBQ persons with low, moderate, and high identity centrality, but the relations were stronger for those with low identity centrality.

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