A Bed of Roses: Exploring the Experiences of LGBT Newcomer Youth who Migrate to Toronto
Munro, L., Travers, R., St. John, A., Klein, K., Hunter, H., Brennan, D., & Brett, C. (2013). A bed of roses?: exploring the experiences of LGBT newcomer youth who migrate to Toronto. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care,6(4), 137-150.
This study sought to gain a better understanding of the general life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) newcomer youth, situated within the broader context of their lives post-migration. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of various forms of oppression experienced by LGBT newcomers and offers recommendations for transforming services to better serve the complex needs of this marginalized population. The experiences of LGBT newcomer youth in this study involved a complex negotiation of multiple systems of oppression. Youth described experiences of homophobia and racism within interpersonal relationships, in the LGBT community, in their respective diasporic communities, in social service encounters and during the immigration/refugee process.The findings reveal systemic discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation that illuminate injustices within Canadian society and systems that can enhance the efforts of those working in policy and service environments. Focused anti-homophobia and anti-racism training, and the implementation of policies designed to enhance accessibility, could improve service provision for newcomer LGBT youth. Furthermore, in order to facilitate a more just settlement process, a broader understanding of sexual identity, gender identity, and gender expression is required of the refugee claimant system. This study examines the experiences of youth in a large and complex, multicultural, and gay-friendly urban centre, thus providing timely and current data about the well-being of newcomer LGBT youth. As such, it is one of the first studies to offer some insights into the life issues and challenges post-migration of Canadian LGBT newcomer youth.
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