Barriers to involvement in nonmetropolitan LGBTQ organizations

Megan S. Paceley, Lance C. Keene, Benjamin J. Lough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations are spaces in which LGBTQ individuals can access support and community, yet they have received little empirical attention, particularly outside urban areas. Given the benefits of LGBTQ community involvement, this study examined the barriers to involvement in nonmetropolitan LGBTQ organizations. Three qualitative methods were employed: interviews, focus groups, and participant observation sessions. Thematic analyses identified eight barriers originating within the individual (managing one's LGBTQ identity, individual characteristics), organization (lack of diversity, group dynamics, lack of awareness of programs, workplace/school climate), and community (size, hostility). Implications for reducing barriers in nonmetropolitan LGBTQ organizations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-139
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • LGBTQ; LGBTQ organizations; nonmetropolitan; community involvement; LGBTQ community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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