Global Challenges in Social-Structural Determinants of Health for Sexual Minority Populations: Using Community-Based Research to Support Human Rights and Social Change
This symposium features three community-based research projects conducted in different regions of the world that demonstrate the application of social work research to: 1) provide evidence of discrimination and violence against LGBT communities and its deleterious consequences; and, 2) engage in local and global collaborations with LGBT and allied communities to promote health, eradicate violence and contribute to global advocacy for LGBT rights and social change.
The first presentation describes an internet-based survey to assess sexual violence, stigma and their associations with health outcomes among ethnically diverse sexual minority women in Toronto, Canada. The second project is based on semi-structured audio and video interviews to document LGBT advocacy work in four Caribbean countries and Canada, create audio and video accounts of lived experiences, and to create an archive of LGBT-centered knowledge to support current and future activism. The third presentation applies mixed methods to assess the prevalence and contexts of discrimination and sexual violence among low socioeconomic men who have sex with men (MSM) in Chennai, India, with results disseminated to national governmental bodies and a brief to the Indian High Court. Each of the authors will address how their projects were grounded in community-based collaborations, including local-local and local-global connections, and benefits accrued through the research process as well as through knowledge mobilization.
After the individual presentations we will provide an overview of cross-cutting as well as project specific themes, and facilitate audience input and discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities of global community-based research collaborations for supporting LGBT human rights and social change. We will discuss themes regarding: 1) Barriers to accessing care due to risks associated with attempting to access services that may outweigh doing without them; 2) How global-local connections are reinforced by the transnational lives of many people, including refugees and immigrants; 3) How distinctions of a problematic global South and an advanced global North are unsettled by engaging with the lived experiences of people at the margins and/or caught in intersecting oppressions; and 4) Connections and collaboration: local/local and global/local are integral parts of working toward large-scale social change to support health and human rights for LGBT communities.