Oppression and Mental Health in Latino Gay Men: An Autoethnography

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Ballesteros, Arturo
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There is disproportionate little research on the LGBTQ population compared to research on heterosexual persons. Giving voice to this population through research might help eliminate the negative perceptions that the LGBTQ community tends to be associated with. Similar to other LGBTQ groups around the globe, Latino LGBTQ communities face a variety of difficulties directly associated with their non-heteronormative status such as discrimination, violence, and isolation, all of which can negatively affect their well-being. In Mexico, having a queer identity challenges a culture in which heterosexuality is reinforced as the only way of being, which, from the point of view of this research, is done through the interconnectedness of religion, collectivism, gender scripts/machismo, and patriarchy. Thus, by exploring an autoethnography of life experiences that have been directly influenced by these elements, and that are central to self-understanding as a queer individual in the present, I intend to contribute to the understanding of how social contexts may shape the identity development of a queer person. I also hope to inspire reflection on how to meet the needs of people with similar social and personal backgrounds in a counselling setting. I utilize self-introspection, reflections written as academic work, insights gained from three years of personal counselling, journal entries, and relevant literature. These will be used to explore, identify, reflect, and analyze the central themes of this autoethnographic work such as family/social dynamics, homosexuality, homophobia, mother-son relationship, and resilience.
autoethnography , Latino gay men , LGBT community in Mexico