???Daring to Be Ourselves???: Explorations of Authenticity, Compassion, and Discrimination for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer People of Color.

by Brandon Aundre Valentine

Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Psychology
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: LGBQ; people of color; authenticity; discrimination; well-being; mindfulness; Psychology; Social Sciences
Record ID: 2062030
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/111608


In this dissertation I explore psychological authenticity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people of color (LGBQ-PoC) with respect to multiple forms of discrimination and well-being. Authenticity is commonly defined as ???the unobstructed operation of one???s true or core self in one???s daily enterprise??? (Goldman & Kernis, 2002, pg. 18). Across two quantitative studies I investigated perceived discrimination, LGBQ-PoC microaggression, and workplace heterosexism in connection with authenticity and well-being. In one qualitative study, I further studied the connection between discrimination, authenticity, and well-being through in-depth interviews using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). In Study 1, I consider the connection between discrimination, authenticity, and well-being using a meditational model. Results illustrated that authenticity and discrimination/ microaggressions were negatively correlated. Authenticity was negatively correlated with depression and negative affect. Finally, authenticity mediated the relationship between discrimination/microaggressions and well-being. In Study 2, I analyzed data from Latino/a and White LGBQ individuals separately using a moderated mediation model to test the relationship between workplace heterosexism, authenticity, and well-being (i.e. depression, stress, and mindfulness) with gender as a moderator. Findings indicated that heterosexism is negatively related to authenticity and authenticity is negatively related to depression and stress while being positively related to mindfulness for Latino/a LGBQs only. White LGBQs only showed a negative relationship between authenticity and depression as well as a positive relationship between authenticity and mindfulness. Authenticity also mediated the relationship between heterosexism and well-being, however this effect was moderated by gender such that it only existed for Latina women. Finally, in Study 3 I qualitatively explore the importance of authenticity for LGBQ-PoC. Findings indicated that LGBQ-PoC experience pressure to conform and being silenced as challenges to their sense of authenticity. Despite these challenges they emphasized the importance of maintaining authentic sense of self. Additionally, their definitions of authenticity challenge common theoretical perspectives, by emphasizing the importance of others for maintaining authenticity. Participants also associated authenticity with compassionate listening and gaining support from others. Taken together, these studies speak to the diverse lived experiences of LGBQ-PoC and emphasize the importance of authenticity for understanding their experiences with discrimination and well-being.