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Title chapter: Perceptions of Acceptance and Inclusion: the Influence of Legislation and Media on LGBT Student Identity and Embeddedness
Author: Scott Ellis
Keywords: Lgbt, Suicide, Media Representation, Heteronormativity
Abstract: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students are at increased risk of suicide ideation and attempt and are disproportionately affected by negative health outcomes associated with social exclusion (Meyer, 2003; Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 2008; CDC, 2014; CDC, 2016). The social environment of LGBT young people, including the nature and presence of media outlets, is a key component of their feelings of exclusion or inclusion and associated suicide risk (Hatzenbuehler, 2011). This underlies the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that LGBT youth require a safe, supportive and inclusive environment in which it is critical they are protected from bullying, victimisation and harassment. As this environment becomes increasingly digitised and LGBT identities are defined by mediatisation, there is great potential for health promoters, educators and legislators to make meaningful progress in harm reduction. New media has begun to address the significant differences in how young white straight men conceptualise the masculinity, and therefore social status, of their gay peers. Until this process is more widely embraced, young LGBT people will continue to face health and social challenges with often life-limiting consequences.
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