*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Narratives of Bisexual Adults: Retrospective Experiences as Youth and Involvement in Queer Spaces

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Growing concern for the academic, social, and psychological well-being of bisexual youth has provoked a great deal of inquiry and assessment. In comparison to other sexual minority youth, bisexual youth are confronted with a unique set of challenges and stigmas in response to their sexuality. Additionally, it has been reported that they are less likely to participate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) organizations and spaces, such as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs, Andre et al., 2014). However, researchers have concluded that GSA’s and similar LGBTQ spaces play a beneficial role in the development and well-being of LGBTQ youth, likely because of the supportive adults advising student groups (Heck, Flentje, & Cohcran, 2013; Kosciw et al., 2013). The purpose of the present study is to investigate how individuals who participated in a GSA during their adolescence report retrospectively on their self-esteem, identity development, and coming out experiences as youth, in addition to whether they continue their involvement in queer spaces and activism as young adults. Data will be drawn from interviews with young adults (ages 18-24), who identify as bisexual, queer, or pansexual, in order to collect a retrospective account of their involvement in GSAs or a similar organization as adolescents. Those who did not participate in such spaces will also be included as our control group. A second goal of this study is to capture participants’ narratives around stigmatization and stereotyping as youth, with an emphasis on how their experiences might have differed from their sexual minority counterparts (gay and lesbian youth). Analyses of the narratives, in turn, provide a rich account of the lived experiences of bisexual young adults and their relationship to queer spaces such as GSAs and their lesbian and gay peers.

Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm