abstract: Here I explore three varieties of theatrical responses to the cultural amnesia brought about by what scholars have termed “post-AIDS” rhetoric. Specifically, I examine how AIDS history plays, AIDS comedies, and solo plays provide opportunities for theatregoers to participate in, or reflect on the absence of, what I call “AIDS mourning publics.” I understand these publics to be both the groupings of people that gather around a text, film screening, play performance, or event that was created in response to loss due to AIDS, and the text, screenplay, or play text itself when circulated. In these publics participants work through their grief, make political interventions, and negotiate the meanings of AIDS history for gay men whose sexual awakening occurred before and after the development of protease inhibitors. I join theories of grieving, affect in performance, and the public sphere to study these communal events. I use films, plays, and critical reviews to identify how mourning through performance can be therapeutic for cultural and social actors despite activists' and scholars' sole attention to the counterpublicity of these events. Still, counterpublicity remains an important concern because many in the dominant US public sphere consider AIDS to be a benign “manageable condition” in affluent countries like the US. As such, I also present a dramaturgy of mourning and counterpublicity in twenty-first century US AIDS drama and solo performance with attention focused upon how dramatists and solo performers are inviting spectators to engage with, and find new meaning within, this epidemic. For example, I investigate how pairing mourning with genres like comedy produces political interventions within the space between laughing and astonishment. My dramaturgy of mourning also examines recurring themes such as ghosts, the past, intergenerationalism, and AIDS amnesia to interpret how performers have framed individual and collective loss to challenge spectators' understanding of AIDS history. To support my claims I use sources from the New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division, gay and lesbian community newspapers, personal interviews, and my own experiences as a spectator viewing productions of The Normal Heart, thirtynothing, and The VOID. / Dissertation/Thesis / Doctoral Dissertation Theatre 2015
Outland, Pearl L.
31 August 2016
<p> Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals face significant mental and physical health disparities compared to their heterosexual peers. Such differential outcomes are often attributed to minority stress, chronic stress that is specific to one’s marginalized status and which is distinct from normal every day life stress. Current research, which attempts to assess the relationship between minority stress and health, is stifled by lack of a uniform measurement tool to operationalize the construct. The purpose of this study was to develop a comprehensive tool that encapsulates all of the major dimensions of minority stress, as defined by Meyer’s (2003) LGB minority stress model. The final LGBT Minority Stress Measure is a 25-item self-report scale, with seven subscales: identity concealment, everyday discrimination/ microaggressions, rejection anticipation, discrimination events, internalized stigma, victimization events, and community connectedness. Results from 640 participants, including 119 of which identified as gender non-conforming, supported the psychometric properties of the scale. Additionally, consistent with existing literature, greater minority stress was associated with increased psychological distress.</p>
The role of protective factors on the high school retention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered studentsRodriguez-Hobbs, Scott D. 24 June 2016 (has links)
<p> Each year the importance of a high school education increases; however, there are still populations for which getting a diploma is difficult. One of these populations is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community. For many of these students a high school diploma is still out of reach. Quantitative research to this point shows that these students suffer from bullying/harassment, increased depression, substance abuse issues, and what they refer to as an overall lack of school belonging. The purpose of this study was to add a qualitative voice to the quantitative data. This study was designed to explore and understand LGBT high school graduates’ experiences throughout grades 9-12 and factors that led to persistence to graduation. This information was put together to create a plan for schools to create environments that were welcoming and supportive of LGBT students. To accomplish these goals, 12 participants from different types of communities across the United States were interviewed about their experiences in high school. They were asked to share their experiences with bullying, depression, substance abuse, and their experiences in high school as well as what they believed help them overcome and make it to graduation and what they wish their schools would have done for them. Of the participants who were interviewed, 75% reported facing bullying or harassment in school, 33% discussed using drugs or alcohol, and 17% talked about depression and attempting suicide. In the end there were three main protective factors found among the participants. Participants had either a person who pushed them towards graduation, something at school that made them feel they belonged, or a sheer desire to leave and get someplace better.</p>
Sexual Minority Microaggressions| An Analysis and Exploration of Categorical Microaggressions Experienced by Sexual MinoritiesPhillips, Jennifer 12 April 2017 (has links)
<p> Building off of previous research, the study undertook to design a taxonomic classification: defining, codifying, and validating microaggressions experienced by sexual minorities. The resultant classification is intended to serve as a conceptual framework if utilized to effectuate an assessment tool assessing microaggressions against sexual minorities. Initial points of interest included an overview of complex historical shifts increasingly traversing the present zeitgeist, and additionally, theoretical justifications for the chosen methodological approach and subsequent suppositions. This served two purposes; the first availed the reader with a contextual narrative to help facilitate a conceptual overview of the target group(s), and additionally, orient readers to the theoretical underpinnings of this study, preserving the integrity and trustworthiness of the present research. Second, variegated extant research was reviewed and elucidated to explore and explain the covert and insidious phenomenon. Concurrently, research related to racial microaggressions was included due to the abundant and judicious literature, furthering one’s conceptualization of microaggressions as well as fortifying external validation among relevant sexual minority categories. </p><p> Heterogeneous literature and the deconstruction of sexual minority microaggressions were examined, interpreted, and presented. Attention to operational definitions—consistent or otherwise, implicit forms of communication, and sociocultural relationships and interactions, including any purported causal and risk factors were investigated. This study identified categorical constructs related to sexual minority microaggressions, tools for design of an assessment measure, and a methodological approach, served to validate and substantiate a future proposed measurement using additional studies were discussed and recommended.</p>
Bohannan-Calloway, J. Michael
24 January 2017
<p> Resilience is the ability to be adaptable in times of adversity. In the past fifty years, individuals who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender have experienced the broadest spectrum from being seen as immoral degenerates to gaining equality in the eyes of the law. Limited research on LGBT resilience has placed emphasis on circumstantial, episodic contentions rather than the dynamics of resiliency experiences of sexual minorities or gender identity. Existing research is even split between quantitative and qualitative methods but does not consider lifelong resiliency dynamic experiences. Qualitatively exploring the resiliency experiences of LGBT Baby Boomers can offer valuable information for the design of sensitivity training of health professionals and amend LGBT resiliency research literature with a broader range of life experiences. Prior research established precedents of resilient self-analysis of expansive situational issues particularly in regard to aging, health, and community. Accordingly, this qualitative research study strived to gain a better understanding of LGBT Baby Boomer resilience as a concept, personal qualities to overcome adverse situations or be resilient, those resilient qualities in regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, and qualities unique not only to their sexual orientation or gender identity, but as Baby Boomers. Five themes were identified that describe resiliency experiences of LGBT Baby Boomers.</p>
Discrimination, Coming-Out, and Self-Esteem as Predictors of Depression and Anxiety in the Lesbian CommunityPurvis, Adrien 30 November 2016 (has links)
<p>Abstract Mixed findings in the research on mental health issues in the lesbian community have resulted in conflicting conclusions as to whether the prevalence rate of generalized anxiety disorders and depression in the lesbian population differs from that of non-lesbians. The variability of findings may be due to factors such as discrimination, coming-out, and self-esteem. Using the minority stress model a framework, the purpose of this quantitative survey study was to examine whether perceptions of discrimination, coming-out, and self-esteem levels predict lesbians? anxiety and depression. Participants anonymously completed online measures of the Outness Inventory, the Schedule of Sexually Discriminatory Events, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The snowball sample consisted of 105 self-identified lesbian women from the United States. Hierarchical regression was used to test the hypotheses. According to study results, frequency and stressfulness of sexual discrimination, coming-out, and self-esteem levels predicted depression and anxiety, with low self-esteem as the only significant predictor of depression and anxiety. The findings were only partially consistent with the minority stress model because perceived discrimination did not predict depression or anxiety. This study facilitates positive social change by pointing out and focusing on the need for mental health interventions specific to the stresses that lesbians face pertaining to low self-esteem, as that predicts their anxiety and depression.
David, Bryan M.
01 December 2016
<p> This thesis examines the development of the gay rights movement in Louisiana. It begins by exploring both the homophile era and the liberation era in Louisiana, and how members of the LGBTQ community during these periods created safe spaces for themselves. I focus on two groups, the Louisiana Electorate of Gays and Lesbians (LEGAL) and the Louisiana Gay Political Action Caucus (LAGPAC), throughout the remainder of the work and how members of these organizations shaped the LGBTQ community by fighting for legislative protections and civil rights. I examine how gay rights activists negotiated the terms and parameters of identities like "gay" and "lesbian" in the context of political action, and how these identities remain relevant for the community today. Throughout the work, I argue that members of organizations like LAGPAC and LEGAL were more reactive than proactive when advocating for legislative protections for Louisiana’s LGBTQ community. To reach this conclusion, I use primary source collections of both LEGAL and LAGPAC, as well as various local periodicals to show how members of these organizations and members of the press disseminated information regarding the fight for gay civil rights to the LGBTQ community and the general public.</p>
Vicknair, Sharae R.
01 December 2016
<p> This study explored the lexical semantics of common same-sex sexuality labels (i.e., homosexual, gay, gay man, lesbian, and no label) by presenting 395 participants with a short story about a fictitious person. The goal was to determine what effects these labels (as well as their social status) would have on participants’ willingness to interact socially with and participants’ support for their civil rights. Age, gender, religious affiliation, and contact with sexual minorities were assessed for each participant, and participants were also asked to rate the likely gender of the fictitious person. Results revealed that neither social status nor sexuality label had an influence on participants’ support for civil rights; however, participants were more willing to interact with the fictitious person when they were of higher status. Additionally, willingness to interact was also influenced by label: male participants were more willing to interact with the fictitious person who identified as a gay man or as a lesbian than the fictitious person who identified as homosexual or as gay, but labels did not have a significant influence on female participants’ willingness to interact. Contact with sexual minorities and not affiliating with a particular religion were associated with more willingness to interact with the fictitious person and higher support for their civil rights. Discussion suggests that same-sex sexuality labels may have various meaning components associated with them that influence individuals’ opinions of LGB individuals. The gendered terms gay man and lesbian had more positive valence associated with them (when compared to homosexual and gay) as demonstrated by male participants’ reactions. The term homosexual was found to be the most gender neutral option and gay appeared to be more associated with the male gender.</p>
The Ugly Duckling| A Truthful Journey of Self Discovery under Musical Circumstances - Produced, Directed and Designed by Jennifer RichardsonRichardson, Jennifer L. 17 August 2018 (has links)
<p> <i>The Ugly Duckling</i>, a musical fable produced, directed and designed by Jennifer Richardson, layered a contemporary journey of emerging realization of sexual identity over a traditional fairy tale journey of self-discovery, utilizing the unique story-telling of the theatre art form without changing the underlying narrative of the fable. The staging created a visual story that was easily trackable. The director achieved this by focusing on relationships, by highlighting the ugly duckling’s difference through behavior and design elements, and by clarifying obstacles through action. If one can gauge effectiveness by audience response, the medium of the fairy tale seemed to be an effective one for reaching a spectrum of audience members - young to old, and from different socio-economic backgrounds. And finally, the process provided a transformative experience for the cast by encouraging meaningful and personal discussions about a range of “ugly duckling” issues, and by exploring the sense of personal strength that comes with being in one’s truth while playing action as a character on stage.</p><p>
Pearson, Robin Foster
03 November 2018
<p> Schools present unique opportunities to foster and improve belonging for all students. Meaningful inclusion requires visible and equal representation as well as safe environments (Cerezo and Bergfield, 2013; Sadowski, 2016). Students who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) deserve equal attention in educational models which seek to be inclusive and acknowledge diverse student populations in schools. Key studies from the United States indicate there is much to be done, suggesting LBGTQ students often do not feel safe or visible in schools (Kosciw, Greytak, Giga, Villenas & Danischewski, 2016). School-based resources, however, such as student-led clubs known as Gay-Straight Alliances, are helping to address the needs of LGBTQ students. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of a group of LGBTQ students who attend an international school in Asia and who are all regular members of a Gay-Straight Alliance. It aimed to gain a better understanding of their school experience in terms of support systems and structures through the unique lens of an international school. A qualitative research design was implemented through the use of semi-structured interviews with four participants, who voluntarily took part in the study. Seven themes emerged from the study, (1) formal support systems are perceived to be secondary to peer support, (2) less formal support services such as friends and peers carry a higher level of trust, (3) the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is the primary, most visible, safe space, (4) outreach beyond the GSA is limited, (5) existing barriers prohibit inclusive practices for LGBTQ students, (6) LGBTQ educational programs would help raise awareness, and (7) There is a need to create and implement school policies, which are more inclusive and will better protect LGBTQ students at the school. Implications of this study entail specialized training for counselors, outreach beyond the confines of the GSA, inclusive policies and targeted LGBTQ educational programs.</p><p>
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