We address two overarching questions:
- How can major concepts within intersectionality frameworks be operationalized in research with 2SLGBTQI+ communities? What methodologies and methods can be used to illuminate complex intersectionality patterns, in different contexts, and over time?
- What tensions and challenges exist for researchers in examining intersectionality among 2SLGBTQI+ communities across methodologies and populations? What strategies can researchers employ to address these?
Methods: We begin with a framework of elements within critical intersectionality paradigms and issues encountered in research with 2SLGBTQI+ populations. Collectively, the papers discuss 1) how researchers incorporated multiple positionalities within different contexts using various methods; 2) challenges encountered and how they were addressed (e.g., defining/working with categories, identifying components and impacts of how power is enacted in different environments while also honoring how research participants define and claim their own identities, ensuring data integrity in online surveys, and developing measurement tools that accurately and inclusively capture the complexities of identity).
Results: Paper one compares responses from three types of focus groups [intra, inter, and anti-categorical. These groups create different contexts, and some questions ask about different life contexts on how social categories/positionalities and related patterns of privilege/discrimination are understood and enacted. Implementation issues include the complexities of group facilitation and orienting participants to positionalities.
Paper two draws on a sequential explanatory mixed-method study (survey N= 548; interviews N=22) examining 2SLGBTQ+ people’s experiences of intersectional discrimination in 2SLGBTQ+ leisure spaces. Methodology issues include measuring intersectional discrimination, capturing combinations of positionalities, and protecting the integrity of online survey data from fraudulent respondents, including bots. Solutions and the benefits of mixed-methods research to intersectional research will be discussed.
Paper three focuses on 2SLGBTQ+ university students (N=380) and measuring sexual identity and gender identity via on-line surveys. Such identities are central to intersectional research, yet existing survey measures are limited (e.g., do not reflect diverse emerging identities or multiple identities) while others present considerable analytical challenges (e.g., handling select-all-that-apply-responses). This paper reports on the development and testing of a two-question approach developed to inclusively and robustly measure these identities.
Paper four uses semi-structured interviews (N=90) and field observation over 8-months of nursing home staff to examine services for 2SLGBTQI+ older adults with disabilities. Here, methods focus on articulating environmental factors directly, to identify factors influencing care for vulnerable populations.
Conclusions: Our papers illuminate different approaches to intersectionality research with 2SLGBTQI+ communities, methodological tensions and solutions. We will compare and contrast the challenges and strengths encountered in different methods and contexts. The insights offered for examining intersectionality among 2SLGBTQI+ communities will have broad appeal to researchers interested in intersectionality, visibility, and empirical justice.