Master of Social Work (MSW)
Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work
This qualitative study explores the unique mental health experiences of Ontario’s LGBTQ+ Muslims in post-secondary settings. The study looks at how LGBTQ+ Muslim students’ mental wellness (i.e., sense of belonging, feeling affirmed in their intersecting identities of being Muslim and belonging to LGBTQ+ community) is affected as they try to navigate systemic barriers and make space for themselves in various settings (i.e., academic, LGBTQ+ affirming spaces, Muslim-specific spaces, student services) on campuses in Ontario, Canada. The study sample consists of four LGBTQ+ identified Muslim students across post-secondary institutions in Ontario and participants discussed their emotional, mental, and sense of belonging experiences on campus. Participants provide suggestions on improving the available support offered through their institutions. Key results from the thematic analysis of data suggest that the participants’ mental health are negatively impacted due to experiencing exclusion at various levels at educational institutions and such experiences impact their identity as LGBTQ+ Muslim students. Furthermore, institutions offer limited supports and resources. As a result, LGBTQ+ Muslim students seek resources outside of campuses, as well as peer support, to cope with these experiences of exclusion and sense of “unbelonging.” Additionally, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQ+ Muslim students experience both positive and negative outcomes, such as loss of access to in-person communities on campus and connecting with other LGBTQ+ Muslims across the globe via online platforms. Participants recommend that culturally competent training for staff and faculty at these institutions be applied to create more inclusive and accessible spaces on campus.
Ahmed, Bushra, "Examining The Mental Health Experiences of LGBTQ+ Identifying Muslim Students in Ontario’s Post-Secondary Institutions" (2024). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2619.