Queer and Flourishing: Understanding the Psychosocial Well-Being of Non-Heterosexual Men

Philip James Cooke, Marquette University


Non-heterosexual populations often face the additional stress of discrimination, harassment, and social rejection due to their sexual identity. These prejudicial experiences, along with other factors such as internalized homonegativity, negative appraisal of one’s sexual identity, and poor social support, contribute to an increased risk for negative mental health outcomes for sexual minority individuals (King et al., 2008; Meyer, 2003). While much is known about factors predicting psychosocial distress in LGB populations, less is known about the factors that predict psychosocial well-being in this group. The present study investigated the minority stress model’s (Meyer, 1995; 2003) hypothesis that minority stress processes (e.g., discrimination, internalized homonegativity) negatively affect positive psychosocial health outcomes (e.g., positive affect, meaning in life) in non-heterosexual men. Additionally, the study examined how positive sexual identity factors and universal protective factors (e.g., social support and resilience) affect the psychosocial well-being of non-heterosexual men. Results of the study showed that social support and resilience had the largest effect on psychosocial well- being, while holding positive views on various aspects of one’s non-heterosexual identity were not significant predictors of well-being. Implications of these findings, limitations to the study, and future research directions are discussed.