Queer Futures is a two year study that is designed to understand the experiences and perspectives of young (16-25 years old) LGBTQ people in order to help reduce their risk of self-harm and suicide. We are particularly interested in how gender and sexuality may influence young people’s distress.
What does the project involve?
The project involves two phases. Phase 1 will ask 30 young LGBTQ people to talk with a researcher either online or face-to-face for about 40-60 minutes on what they think about these issues and their own experiences. We will be asking participants questions about:
- What they think makes some young LGBTQ people do risky things, like take drugs, self-harm or attempt suicide
- What they think are the pressures of being young AND gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or trans
- Whether they think young people worry about having sex (or not), feelings towards the same sex, and confused feelings about being a man or a woman
- What type of help young LGBTQ people need when they feel distressed
What happens after the interviews?
From what young LGBTQ people tell us, we will develop an online questionnaire that will hopefully be completed by as many young LGBTQ people around the country as possible. This survey will ask similar kinds of questions but will use the information that we gather in the interviews to make sure it is more relevant to the realities of young people.
How will the data be used?
We will use young people’s views from both the interviews and the surveys to write our report. We will also write articles for scientific journals and give presentations to professionals who are working to help young LGBTQ people in distress.
Will what people say in the interviews and questionnaire be confidential?
At all times we will do everything that we can to make sure that the things which are said are kept private, including storing the recordings, downloads, transcripts of interviews and survey responses in a safe place (at Lancaster University) where no one can access them except the researchers. If, during the interview, a young person tells us anything that suggests they may be in danger of hurting themselves or someone else, we may have to break confidentiality in order to ensure that appropriate support is provided.