Methods: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was conducted in order to rigorously explore the roles and relations of inter-community and intra-community violence among Black LGBT young adults. The study consisted of four focus groups with Black LGBT youth (N = 24) and in-depth individual interviews with medical and social service providers who work with Black LGBT youth (N = 4). Data were audio-recorded and transcribed by a transcription service. Data analysis was conducted using NVivo version 12.
Results: Participants conveyed a multifaceted experience of violence affecting their well-being as Black LGBT young adults including physical, mental, verbal, emotional and sexual violence. During data analysis, three themes emerged: 1) causes of violence 2) the context of intracommunity violence, and 3) solutions to violence. The first theme describes the reasoning, motivation or explanation for violence experienced by the Black LGBT youth community. The second theme, the context of intracommunity violence, describes how violence occurs specifically within Black LGBT young adult communities. The third theme, solutions to violence, describes the recommendations for addressing, reducing and/or eliminating violence within the Black LGBT youth community.
Conclusions and Implications: Black LGBT young adults encounter various forms of institutionalized barriers and discrimination based on their intersecting marginalized identities, frequently resulting in low self-esteem and an increased vulnerability to judgement by others. At times, the stress of these discriminatory experiences act as a facilitator for violence. To mitigate violence and trauma being imposed on Black LGBT youth, Black LGBT youth’s experiences should be validated by both peers and trusted figures and incorporated into community programming. Community spaces should be able to provide trauma-informed, culturally responsive and LGBT friendly services to Black LGBT youth that are relevant to their salient identities. Addressing violence at the community level can be a catalyst towards achieving racial and social justice for Black LGBT young adults.