Social Challenges Faced by Queer Latino College Men: Navigating Negative Responses to Coming Out in a Double Minority Sample of Emerging Adults

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Abstract

Objectives: In this paper, we qualitatively examine the social challenges experienced by queer, Latino college men in the coming out process. Using an intersectional perspective informed by the double jeopardy hypothesis, intersectional invisibility, and Latino/a cultural norms, we asked 22 queer Latino college men to describe the major challenges they experienced with their sexual identities. Method: To examine the subjective experiences of participants’ multiple minority identities, we conducted semistructured interviews. Our sample consisted of 22 college student men who identified as Latino, queer, and cisgender. Participant ages ranged from 18 to 29 (M = 21.50, SD = 3.70). For race/ethnicity, all participants identified with the broad category Latino. For sexual orientation, 18 participants self-identified as gay or homosexual, 3 identified as “other,” and 1 identified as bisexual. Results: Sixty-eight percent of participants (15/22) described encountering negative social responses to their sexual identity disclosure, including Loss of Relationships, Aggression, Pathologizing, and Self-Serving Responses. Additionally, 55% spontaneously reinterpreted or Cognitively Reframed their negative experiences (12/22), including the subthemes of It’s never happened to me, Minimizing, and Victim Blame.Conclusions: We relate each subtheme to potentially influential social and cultural norms among queer, Latino college men, such as collectivistic values and familismo. Suggestions for research and practice with individuals at this identity intersection are described.

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