The significance of empowering social relations: challenges for LGBTIQ students in Vienna

Christine M. Klapeer

Abstract


Against the backdrop of a quantitative online survey of nearly 700 LGBTIQ youth in Vienna, Austria, on the living situations of LGBTIQs, this article contests the expectation of queer students necessarily experiencing mental or physical health problems based on minority stress. Even though the responses show substantial rates of bullying and violence in the education context as well as very high numbers of street harassment, especially for gender non-conforming young LGBTIQs, our findings suggests that positive experiences of peer, family or school support may play a largely ameliorative role in the relationship between minority stress and well-being. Against the common trope of the “young queer victim” our respondents seem happier than we expected them to be, which may largely be due to empowering environments and affirmative social relationships.


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