Straight allies of those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) are often described as individuals supportive of civil rights, gender equality, and LGBT social movements. Past research on straight allies has primarily focused on those involved in school-based gay-straight alliances; with less research on straight allies involved in community-based programs designed specifically for LGBT populations. This presentation will include data on straight allies enrolled in the iTEAM project – a program serving LGBT and straight allied youth, 15 -23 years, who are homeless or near homeless. Data was collected prior to enrollment into the iTEAM project and at 6-months post-intake. Data for this presentation includes descriptive data with regard to (1) demographic information, (2) life history experiences, (3) risk behaviors, and (4) gender and sexuality. Straight allies and those identifying as LGBT were alike with regard to background demographics, having experienced similar life experiences (e.g. victimization), and risk behaviors (e.g. substance use). The data also indicates that straight allies report more consistent identities over time with regard to gender and sexuality compared to LGBT individuals. Why straight allies choose to enroll in services specifically designed for those identifying as LGBT will be discussed as well as challenges and benefits at the program level.
Sally Stevens, PhD is the Executive Director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women and a Distinguished Outreach Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. Much of Dr. Stevens research is community-based with a focus on developing and testing the effectiveness of theory-driven interventions primarily for women, girls, LGBTQ, and race/ethnic minority populations. Dr. Stevens has served as Principal Investigator, Project Director, Evaluator, and Project Advisor for over 60 projects funded by private and public agencies. She has authored over 300 journal articles, technical reports, program manuals, and other dissemination products.
Questions for Prof. Stevens? sstevens[at]email.arizona.edu