Borders and Margins--- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Immigrant Experiences

CE Credit: 2

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Length: 110 minutes

Session offered by Division 44.

This symposium, sponsored by Division 44’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, will address the unique experiences and stressors faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) immigrants who must often manage multiple forms of marginalization related to their immigration status, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Some LGBT immigrants face discriminatory immigration laws, while others are in the process of seeking asylum. Others, such as, LGBT international students, are typically expected to return to their home countries, which may be intolerant of LGBT people, which has implications for coming out and for safety upon return to the home country (Pope, 2007). While immigrants often rely on their ethnic immigrant communities as a safe harbour from their unfamiliar new environment, for LGBT immigrants, these communities can be inhospitable (Boulden, 2009; Choudhury et al., 2009). This symposium will include presentations on Latino gay, bisexual, and transgender immigrants, LGBT West Indian immigrants, same-sex binational couples, and LGBT international students. One presenter will share results from a qualitative study on Latino gay men living in the Midwest including issues related to immigration journeys to the U.S., relationships with family and friends, HIV/AIDS knowledge, access to health care, experiences with discrimination/racism, and coping skills. Another presenter will discuss the mental health needs of West Indian LGBT individuals related to taboos around homosexuality and internalized homophobia. A third presenter will present case examples of common issues of HIV-positive Latino immigrants in the political asylum process. Another presenter will share results from a qualitative research study on same-sex binational couples who immigrated from the U.S. to Canada in order to remain together. The final presenter will discuss the distinctive needs of LGBT international students. The symposium discussant will identify common themes across research presentations and offer implications for future research and practice.

Learning Objective 1
Describe ways in which LGBT immigrants are a diverse population with unique clinical needs.

Learning Objective 2
Identify stressors experienced by LGBT immigrants that could be important for clinicians to be aware of when serving this population.

Presenters: Nadine Nakamura, PhD (Chair); Alejandro Morales, PhD; Danielle K. Phillip, MS; Eduardo Morales, PhD; Anusha Kassan, PhD; Yoshitaro Oba, MS

Supplementary Materials

  • Alejandro Morales
  • Eduardo Morales
  • Kassan
  • Phillip
  • Yoshitaro