Perceived social support in the lives of gay, bisexual and queer Hispanic college men

Cult Health Sex. 2016 Oct;18(10):1093-106. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2016.1150516. Epub 2016 Mar 4.


In this qualitative study, we examined the sources and nature of social support reported by 24 gay, bisexual and queer Hispanic college men at a small liberal arts college and a large university in the USA. We identified four themes of support across the interviews: Shared experiences (46%), Protector (42%), Support in the air (33%) and Gradual support (29%). Shared experiences included support from those who had previous experience with the lesbian, gay or bisexual community. Protector indicated a type of support that was psychologically, emotionally or physically protective in nature. Participants also reported receiving indirect support such as nonverbal behaviours or indirect gestures of endorsement and caring (support in the air). Participants reported that many of their network members came to support them gradually over time (gradual support). Within each theme we found support from both women and men, who provided support in gender-consistent ways. Our results highlight that despite continued prejudice and discrimination in society, sexual and racial/ethnic minority men have strongholds of support from men and women in their lives that enable them to navigate their development successfully.

Keywords: Hispanic; Social support; contact theory; emerging adulthood; sexual minorities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Universities
  • Young Adult