An exploration of heterosexual cisgender parent\guardian-initiated healthcare access for or alongside LGBTQ+ youth

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2020-12

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The objective of this Phenomenological inquiry sensitized by a lens of Foucauldian Power and Resistance was to explore the experiences of heterosexual cisgender parents and guardians of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (LGBTQ+) youth as they access healthcare for or alongside their youth ages ten through twenty. The need for this investigation was based on a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ health science literature. The scope of health issues encompassed adults and youth, the elderly and aging, racial and gender disparities, educational attainment and employment, homelessness, suicide, substance use, sex work and safety sex, sexual assault and domestic violence, STI/HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, social stigma and violence, social isolation, homophobia in healthcare, institutionalized heteronormativity in social policy as well as the impact of early negative disruptions and positive influences. This unique variant of healthcare research addressing upstream factors provides additional data for health providers and systems to decrease a multitude of disparities affecting LGBTQ+ youth. A Snowball sampling procedure in a large Southern United States metropolitan area allowed for a sample of eleven participants to be obtained and interviewed within approximately one month. Exclusion criteria was set to parent or guardian sexual orientation and youth age due to difficulties in reaching this population. Interviews were guided by a semi-structured interview schedule. Demographic information was used to describe the target population while 75-90 minutes of audio tapped interview data and field notes were transcribed, coded and analyzed using meaning unit aggregation, concept aggregation and thematic generation. Participants received $60.00 in appreciation of their time and sharing their stories. The findings of this study were organized in seven major thematic and contained 31 sub-themes. This study concludes that LGBTQ+ youth are at risk of discrimination from healthcare providers, however, specialized clinics that are gender affirming provide both parents and youth the opportunity to receive high quality care. This study also concludes that Phenomenology sensitized by Foucauldian Power and Resistance are synergistic in their ability to meaningfully explore the barriers parents experience and the ways in which they circumvent those barriers.

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