Gay men experience marked health disparities compared to heterosexual men, associated with profound discrimination. Resilience as a concept has received growing attention to increase understanding about how gay men promote and protect their health in the presence of adversity. Missing in this literature are the perspectives and experiences of gay men over 40 years. This investigation, drawing on grounded theory methods, examined how gay men over 40 years of age develop resilience over the course of their lives to promote and protect their health. In-depth interviews were undertaken with 25 men ranging between 40 and 76 years of age who experienced an array of health concerns including depression, anxiety, suicidality, and HIV. Men actively resist discrimination via three interrelated protective processes that dynamically influence the development of resilience over their life course: (a) building and sustaining networks, (b) addressing mental health, and (c) advocating for respectful care encounters. Initiatives to promote and protect the health of gay men must be rooted in the recognition of the systemic role of discrimination, while supporting men’s resilience in actively resisting discrimination.
Handlovsky, I., Bungay, V., Oliffe, J., & Johnson, J. (2018). Developing Resilience: Gay Men’s Response to Systemic Discrimination. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12 (5). 1473–1485. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988318768607
American Journal of Men’s Health
Developing Resilience: Gay Men’s Response to Systemic Discrimination
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