The Virtues Of Visibility : Youtube And Lgbt Youth

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The Virtues of Visibility: YouTube and LGBT Youth The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the recent proliferation of positive portrayals of the LGBT community in YouTube videos has had any impact on LGBT youth who struggle with their social identity. This paper hypothesizes that the discourse shaped on YouTube videos surrounding LGBT rights and issues—expressed typically, but not limited to “coming out” videos, sharing experiences of being a member of the LGBT community, sharing opinions on the political discourse surrounding legislation of LGBT issues, or videos of straight allies who show support for members of the LGBT community (from now on, these videos are described as LGBT friendly)—have made these issues visible …show more content…

Brian Mustanski and Richard Liu’s study elucidated predictors of suicide attempts of LGBT youth (2013). Their study revealed two important findings; first, the strongest predictor of attempted suicide was the feeling of hopelessness caused by a lack of social support for the LGBT community, and the stigmatization of gender non-conformity and same-sex attractions (442-5). Second, their study revealed that LGBT youth are twenty-eight percent more likely than heterosexual youth to suffer from mental health disorders such as major depression, conduct disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder—all of which have a strong positive correlation with suicide attempts (447-9).
Sociologists Brent Teasdale and Mindy Bradley-Engen conducted a study in 2010 on the role of social support on mental health disorders for adolescent same sex-attractions. Their findings validate the social stress model—a sociological model that argues that mental health disorders are the result of the interplay of stress, lack of social support, and personal efficacy— and reveals that the relationship between same-sex attractions and mental health disorders are the result of elevated stress levels and reduced social support caused by parental or peer rejection (Teasdale and Bradley-Engen 2010, 287-94). This salience of

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