Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Program Name/Specialization

Community Psychology

Faculty/School

Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Simon Coulombe

Advisor Role

Dr. Michael Woodford

Abstract

This study explored the indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination (i.e., microaggressions) and positive identity-affirming actions (i.e., microaffirmations) that gender and sexually diverse (LGBTQ2S+) people with disabilities (PWD) experience in multiple life contexts. Previous literature has tended to focus solely on negative experiences, and little research has been conducted to understand their possible experiences of microaffirmations and how they may promote resilience and well-being. Intersectionality theory, minority stress theory, and Crip theory guided the study. The objectives were to explore microaggressions and microaffirmations experienced by LGBTQ2S+ PWD, as well as these individuals’ responses to microaggressions and microaffirmations. Semi structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 23 LGBTQ2S+ PWD regarding incidents of microaggressions and microaffirmations in five settings (i.e., family, friends, school, work, and community). Thematic analysis process was utilized to code and analyse interview transcripts. A wide diversity of microaggression (presented in the first manuscript) and microaffirmation themes (presented in the second manuscript) emerged from the study related to either LGBTQ2S+ or disability identities. Intersectional microaggressions unique to disability and LGBTQ2S+, and additional identities were reported. Participants engaged in a variety of behavioural, emotional, and cognitive responses to microaggressions. Furthermore, in line with social support and resilience, within-group microaffirmations (i.e., people who belong to LGBTQ2S+, disability or both communities) may lessen the severity of microaggressions due to within-group support, and in general, may have positive effects on one’s well-being. Practice and policy level implications to promote intersectional inclusion are discussed.

Convocation Year

2021

Convocation Season

Fall

Available for download on Saturday, September 03, 2022

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