Navigating double marginalisation: Migrant Chinese sexual and gender minority young people’s views on mental health challenges and supports

Chiang, Szu-Ying; Fenaughty, John; Lucassen, Mathijs F. G. and Fleming, Theresa (2019). Navigating double marginalisation: Migrant Chinese sexual and gender minority young people’s views on mental health challenges and supports. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 21(7) pp. 807–821.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2018.1519118

Abstract

Sexual and/or gender minority young people who are also members of an ethnic minority can experience unique challenges. Limited research draws directly on the mental health experiences of these ‘double minority’ youth. This study focused on Chinese sexual/gender minority youth in New Zealand. It sought to explore features they found challenging for, or supportive of, their mental health and wellbeing. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 Chinese sexual/gender minority participants aged between 19 and 29 years old and residing in Auckland, New Zealand. An inductive approach to qualitative data analysis was used. Two major domains of findings emerged. Firstly, participants described mental health challenges linked to racism, sexism, cis-heteronormativity and challenges in relation to intersecting identities. Secondly, Chinese culture and community connections, family and peer support, and role models seemed to facilitate resiliency. However, the fear of ‘losing face’, unwillingness to disclose distress when unwell, and mental health service providers’ lack of cultural and linguistic competency were described as barriers to effective mental health support. In conclusion, Chinese and sexual/gender minority identities were integral parts of participants’ sense of self, and this was associated with their mental health and wellbeing. Further research is required to explore ways to reduce barriers and promote resiliency.

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