Post 5: Design-led Ethnography

Most LGBT youth find it difficult to express and explore their sexual orientation and gender identity. This is caused by various challenges they face from the way society respond to their orientation and identity. In 2011 a report by Institute of Medicine found that ‘the disparities in both mental and physical health that are seen between LGBT and heterosexual and non-gender-variant youth are influenced largely by their experiences of stigma and discrimination during the development of their sexual orientation and gender identity.’ In this primary research I’ve decided to explore society’s perception of LGBT youth and their understanding of what they might believe that contributes negative experience towards LGBT youth. Furthermore I wanted to discover how society believes they can shift these environmental challenges.

At the start of the interview general discrimination questions were asked to gain insight of their experience with any sort of discrimination they might have faced. Later on the interview turned into a discussion on discrimination towards LGBT youth and how we can reduce this discrimination. In the interview the interviewee expressed that they have experienced racial discrimination and they believe that any minority will come across discrimination at least one point in their life. The way they handled discrimination was to simply brush it off.

“The minority in this world will always come across some sort of discrimination during their life. But it goes to show how ill educated our world is…”

The interviewee believes our current society is slowly becoming more accepting however there is still a long way to go, especially for the LGBT Youth. They believe LGBT youth would have it harder compared to any other minority because of the unwanted response they might face even from their loved ones like their family and friends. As the interview went on about the struggles LGBT youth face everyday it led on to discussion about how might we make it easier for them to come out. I asked the interviewee if they were ever taught on sexuality during school. “Never” they said. They explain how our education system should be more inclusive and improve on LGBT awareness. “I feel like if they talk about it or learn about it the there will be more awareness of discrimination. Students should get educated about these issues regardless to avoid any harassment and discrimination from occurring from young age.” When I asked if the interviewee knew about safe schools coalition they had no idea of it. As I explained to the interviewee what it was they were frustrated at why it wasn’t made more aware to us.


Following the insightful interview I generated a probe targeting two different age groups. The probe is a survey looking into individual’s perception on LGBT youth and ideas on how they might constitute to reducing challenges for LGBT youth from coming out.

probe 1 survey

  1. The aim of surveying High school students was to increase my understanding of how the same age as my chosen issue viewed LGBT youth.

The following survey questions allowed me to gain insightful understanding of teenager’s attitude towards LGBT youth.

  • Do you know any LGBT youth yourself? If so, how do you interact with them?
  • How do you feel towards LGBT youth?
  • Do you think they’re any different to regular students? How do you treat them?
  • Do you think our society is accepting them well?
  • Why do you think a lot of LGBT Youth are afraid of coming out?

Many of the participants knew or had a friend that identified themselves as homosexual and they strongly disagreed on perceiving them indifferently. All participants had no negative feelings towards LGBT youth. However they expressed that at although it may seem that there is no obvious discrimination towards LGBT youth on the surface a lot of student still tend to judge them behind their backs. The students believed that media played a major role in showing both positive and negative results in coming out publically. “Hate crimes are presented on the media like daily, causing LGBT youth from coming out. They are in fear of discrimination and even getting hurt. Then there’s also a positive reaction from the public on ‘lovey dovey’ posts on social media about being openly gay or lesbian.”

Highschool students were very respectful towards LGBT youth and displayed this through their understanding of them as a normal person. They demonstrated that they believe LGBT are not indifferent to normal people as they still behave like normal people in terms of the way behave towards other people. This positive survey allowed me to understand that today’s teens are very open towards wider community. However their unfamiliarity on safe schools programmes made it assert that schools are still ignorant towards teaching students about sexuality. The participants acknowledged that schools are still centred on heteronormative teachings and exemplified that subjects in highschool such as health only teach heterosexual intercourse.

  1. Young adults were the other age group that I’ve surveyed. I decided to survey this age group to understand how they might think they can constitute to decreasing the LGBT discrimination. I believe young adults in today’s society are more open change so I wanted to explore their ideas on how the society should act upon LGBT discrimination.

All participants in this age group strongly believed that sexuality education should be reinforced in Sex Education in school. They emphasized that they had no memory of being taught about LGBTIQ. “Sex Ed in school was all about going through puberty, human reproduction, STD and aids. Nothing about sexual orientation.” From this finding it was clear that schools were only sourcing information on heterosexual safe sex and relationships. This demonstrated that schools played a big role in creating this conservative message about heterosexual sex and danger being the norm. The participants believed that raising positive roles models and information about LGBT in schools could’ve reduced the challenges.

After the survey I have asked a participant from each age group to document all source of information they have come across that could be identified as LGBT support, homophobia or LGBT discrimination. They were asked to note what source it was from e.g; social media, street poster, word of mouth or community discussion then describe how they felt towards the source weather it was a positive or negative perspective on LGBT in one sentence.

probe 2.jpg

The chart shows lists of sources identified by the participant from each age group. The list has been separated into positive and negative association on LGBT. Both participants found more sources that were positively associated LGBT issue. This finding reassured that our society has decreased discriminatory attitude towards LGBTIQ and surprisingly more understanding about homophobia and discrimination. The participants in this research came across LGBT information mainly from non-traditional sources such as social media, Internet, friends, magazine, movies and street posters. It was clear that this information was becoming widely accessible but still less exposed in traditional sources such as school and family. I personally expected to see some traditional sources coming from my high school participant. Both participants felt that the negative sources they came across were unnecessary and ignorant.

documentation probe

In this research I would’ve liked to gain insight from LGBT youth’s perspective towards the society. It could’ve opened up my understanding on multiple layers of identity that impact LGBT youth’s lives such as gaining knowledge of how they cope or handle living in our current society. I believe the research could’ve been more comprehensive if I had gotten wider public’s understanding of LGBTIQ.

  • In this research all most 99% of my participants did not know the safe schools coalition. I wasn’t sure weather because they didn’t care about the policy because they weren’t LGBT. Nevertheless I came to conclusion that same schools program should have been made more aware to wider public.
  • Most schools already have anti-violence and racism policies but not so much in anti-LGBT abuse and harassment. Although they promote equality in schools they do not make LGBT discrimination a relevant issue.
  • The research demonstrated that LGBT harassments are less aggressive these days. Young people are incredibly supportive of their fellow LGBT from coming out.
  • It was interesting to find out that young people were light hearted towards LGBT community. They believe that sexual orientation and gender identity is a normal process and expression in today’s society.
  • Although young people expressed their openness towards LGBT community they emphasised that it was the older generation that remained stigmatised towards all sexualities other than heterosexual, which influenced LGBT youth from coming out.


By April Bae


Post 3: Stakeholders Issue Map & Image Archive

Stakeholders mapping
Categorised participants/stakeholders (human and non-human) involved in LGBTIQ
Stakeholders mapping2
Stakeholders Relationship/connection Map


In the first step of mapping exercise (identifying issues based on our chosen issue) our group found it fairly straightforward with identifying all issues and ideas related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Intersex and Queer/Questioning. At first we noticed a lot of broad terms thrown around everywhere on the paper. In order to build up on the complexity of our issue we decided to refine our map by categorizing them into significant areas that made LGBTIQ issue aware. They include; Media, Organization, Demographic, and Government. After refining the map I noticed that many of these stakeholders were interwoven together some way or another. The issue that was raised during mapping session was that we had to consider the environmental and the cultural impact of the significant LGBTIQ on top of the stakeholder’s involvement. This consideration added second layer of complexity to LGBTIQ issue and allowing us to understand that there was a bigger intertwined picture to this issue. Through this exercise we realised how each stakeholders can affect each other and that it can impact the way it can be perceived and identified.


Image Archive
Image 1: The Veiled Truth / Jordon – Where Love is Illegal

This is a photograph of a Gay Jordanian boy. He comes from a extremely culture orientated family that strongly disses and hates minorities, including homosexuals like himself. His mother in particular insists that he is an ill boy and that there is something wrong with him because he is gay. The bandaged face represents a notion of being perceived as a sick person in the eyes of the public and it shows signs of disgust and hatred. The fact that the image is taken as a direct portrait shot with lack of facial features showing accentuates a strong sense of insecurity and agony living in a place where homosexuals are not welcome.


Image 2: GLSEN’s #DayofSilence (Connor Franta, 2016)

This is a photograph of, a proud gay public figure Connor Franta. The image was specifically taken for #DayofSilence which was to promote safe schools and space for everyone in the community. The idea of ‘silence’ written on his wrist and covering his mouth sends a clear message that LGBT youth are being silenced in our community. According to the 9 out of 10 LGBT youth report of being verbally or/and physically bullied in their school. The pink carnation held in hand by Connor communicates a gesture of gratitude towards victimized LGBT youth. The intention behind this image stands strong and clear on sending a powerful sentimental message


Image 3: LGBT as a Disorder in Japan. (Buzzfeed, 2016)

This is an image of a Japanese girl walking into a disabled toilet due to public’s rejection and negative output towards her sexual orientation. The idea of the girl walking into a dark disabled bathroom captures the notion of rejected or confused gender identity. In the sourced article of this image, the mother of the girl in this image gave her daughter a diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID). The disorder is defined as “a desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex.” The result of her diagnosis lead her school to implementing disabled bathrooms accommodating for students with physical disability including her.


Image 4: No home for the holiday (XD, 2012)

This is an image of a homeless child. According to the source the child has been left on their own due to their queerness/sexual orientation. The image gives verisimilitude to the LGBT youth issue. The torn clothes worn by the child indicates sense of violence that he or she might have experienced. Through this idea of violence (besides homelessness) represented in this photo, we can immediately link the idea of child abuse and discrimination as a result of being a minority member. Furthermore the curled up position of the child embodies loneliness and heartache towards the world they live in. This image portrays a powerful reason as to why LGBT youth are so afraid of coming out.


Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 5.19.09 pm
Image 5: Where Love is Illegal (Panos, 2016)

This is an image of Jean Yannick form Cape Town, covering his chest with his hands. You can see by the way his nails have been treated that he is not an average man if South Africa. This is a body picture of Jean who has been gang raped infront of his partner. That has been rejected and denied for reporting the attack he was in. And also whom the police have taken and locked up for 13 days for reporting the attack. ‘We can’t help someone like you because our culture doesn’t have gay people, and if those people come to kill you, we can’t do anything. If you want to be gay you should leave the country.’


Image 6: I am not… (Osocio, 2016)

This is a poster for Czech LGBT support organization Sbarvouven. The poster of a girl camouflaged to the background represents the idea of concealed identity in the LGBT community. This poster clearly emphasizes the idea of ‘hiding inside the closet’ through the visual expression. In the poster only her clothes have been edited to blend in with the background. This shows that she does not have the courage to stand up for herself to show her true self. Instead she is blending into the environment she lives in to avoid harassment and taunts that may be caused due to the way she is.


Image 7: No Soy Tu Chiste (Daniel. A, 2013)

This is image is part of ‘I’m Not A Joke’ Artivism, art on human rights. This particular art campaign is raising awareness of the prejudice and discrimination against LGBTIQ community around the world. The visual representation of the male being anchored down by the globe ball and chain indicates the notion of suppressed identity expression. The floral print on the male’s body implies a natural beauty.


Image 8: Transgender (Pinterest, 2016)

The image shows a reflection of what it appears to be a boy but in reality a girl. The chest strapped up girl looking own signifies the hardship and agony she is going through in order to transform her body into an image that she wants to be disguised as. The image depicts the notion of distressed transgender who cannot be entirely who they want to be until the process is completely done. Although this image represents a transgender youth’s struggle this hardship is applied to any transgender in our society.


Image 9: Stop Trying To Wash It Away (Pinterest, 2016)

This is an image of a mother trying to wash away the rainbow-bodied son in the bathtub. The image of the mother with the glove attempting to scrub off the son’s LGBT identity illustrates the notion of disbelief and rejection. It shows that the mother believes sexual orientation is removable and that it should not belong to her son. The boy on the other hand sits in the bathtub watching him being washed away when he clearly knows that it’s in fact part of who he is.


Image 10: I Hear Your Words (Helenski. J, 2015)

This is an image of a closer up body part with an imprint saying ‘I will not allow your semantics to hide my experience.’ The image explores the role of body as a tool for shaping society’s concept of gender and sexuality. The impression made on the body represents the notion of being emotionally, psychologically, and physically oppressed to society’s semantics. The body becomes the essential medium and tool in this image for visualizing the social metaphysics surrounding the concept of LGBTIQ.


Works Cited

Arzola, Daniel. “No Soy Tu Chiste.” 23 Januaray 2013. Tumblr. 18 August 2016 <;.

Franta, Connor. “ConnorFrantaFans.” 15 April 2016. Facebook. 18 August 2016 <;.

Helenski, James. Jameszie. 2015. 20 August 2016 <;.

  1. Lester Feder, Nikki Tsukamoto Kininmonth. “BuzzFeed News.” 6 August 2016. BuzzFeed. 20 August 2016 <;.

Panos Pictures. “Where Love is Illegal.” Panos. 21 August 2016 <;.

Pinterest. Pinterest. 18 August 2016 <;. “I am not.” Osocio. 17 August 2016 <;.

“Stop Trying To Wash it Away.” 2016. Pinterest. 18 August 2016 <;.

“The Veiled Truth.” 2016. Where Love is Illegal. 22 August 2016 <;.

  1. “No Home For the Holidays.” 24 December 2012. Mused Mag Online. 18 August 2016 <;.


By April Bae

Post 2: The Life of LGBT Youth

Source 1.

Special Issue Introduction: New Research on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: Studying Lives in Context

The Journal of Youth and Adolescence is a multidisciplinary Research Publication. The Journal is written for psychologists, psychiatrists, biologists, criminologists, educators, and professionals in many other allied disciplines who address the subject of youth and adolescence. This scholarly source is based on quantitative analyses, theoretical papers, and comprehensive review article. Therefore the source addresses the issue in formal respective manner.

The research on LGBT youth by Stacy Horn, Joseph Kosciw and Stephen Russell explores the paradigms of risk and challenges LGBT youth face as to any population of youth. The key aspect of this research is to move beyond studying LGBT youth as at-risk, but instead for exploration and understanding the ways LGBT youth convey their development within various social contexts. The Journal shows evidence of in depth examination of the issue through consideration of diverse external and internal influences that may hostile school environment for LGBT students. The authors of the source displays empathetic approach on the paper. This is evident through their aim to understand context of victimization whereby they continually mention throughout the paper.


Source 2. 

Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know About Their Legal Rights

Lisa Keen, an award-winning vetern Journalist and Chief Correspondent for Keen News Service write an accessible guide for LGBT youth called Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know about Their Legal Rights. Although our civil rights have advanced significantly over many years, consequently these movements has unfortunately led to countless legal issues such as freedom of expression, sexual harassment, and even right to privacy within ones own families.

Keen’s experience in covering LGBT issues and gay legislation for over 20 years is exceptionally showcased through her book Out Law What LGBT Youth Should Know About Their Legal Rights. The book explores the rights of LGBT youth for their protection and responsibility. She position herself to empower LGBT youth to not only know aware of their rights but to also stand up for themselves.



Keen, Lisa. Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know about Their Legal Rights . Boston: Beacon Press, 2007.

Stacey S. Horn, Joseph G. Kosciw, Stephen T. Russell. “Special Issue Introduction: New Research on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: Studying Lives in Context.” 6 June 2009. Springer Link. 9 August 2016 <;.


By April Bae

Post 1: Discriminatory Treatment Against LGBT Youth


According to the human rights campaign, 4 in 10 LGBT youth say the community they live in does not accept them and LGBT people. Growing up, I would’ve never considered LGBTIQ issues as something serious if I hadn’t witnessed a close friend of mine go through social ostracism and personal denial due her homophobic community and culture. After reading various secondary sources on LGBTIQ rights it was disappointing to see that there were still strong negative perspectives on this issue today.


Article 1.

Sonia Kruger calls scholarship program ‘reverse discrimination’ 

Dana McCauley is a finance Editor at She is responsible for breaking stories about all things business, work and money related. Prior to her current position she has been an award-winning Journalist for 3 years at Leader Community Newspapers. Her education in Arts, Law and Journalism ensures her as a profound writer for

McCauley has written this article due to the controversy Sonia Kruger has raised on LGBTIQ scholarship program. The article is mainly built up on Sonia Kruger’s commentary on the scholarship as “reverse discrimination” on the Today Extra show. The article is followed by other relevant but mixed commentaries on the LGBTIQ Scholarship. The commentaries that are mentioned in the article show two opposite standpoints on the LGBTIQ financial incentive. The argument circulates around if the incentive is appropriate or not for youth and if this is an example of ideological activism.

Although the article shows strong opposing standpoints of various commentators the author herself does not show particular bias towards the issue. But rather writes the article in a respectful tone that is critical of ideas, and not of commentators.


Article 2.

Schools embrace controversial gender program that the LGBT community says ‘saves lives’

In contrast to article one, Lisa Schefman from Frankston Standard Leader writes a supportive outlook towards gender programs offered at schools in Frankston. Schefman is a Journalist at Leader Newspapers, covering Frankston area in metropolitan Melbourne.

As a local of Frankston municipality for 32 years and a Journalist at Frankston, Schefman was motivated to write this article due to the attention that has sparked from growing number LGBTIQ programs embraced in Frankston schools. The controversy began after a Frankston High School parent withdrew her children from the school due to her disapproval of the gender diversity program. However the article does not flourish the negative take on the program, but alternatively mentions statements from LGBT organizations and stakeholders that encourages why we should have safe schools coalition on board.

The article shows preference towards pro safe schools coalition through several mentioning of improved statistics on discrimination and bullying against same-sex attracted and gender diverse (SSAIGD). Overall, the article is embracing the safe schools program to general public and voices that it should be something we all need to be humbled about being offered at schools.


Article 3.

Rainbow Votes: Where The Parties Stand On LGBTI Youth 

This article was written by the Gay News Network (GNN). They are also the online home of Evo media, Australia’s largest national media company focusing on the gay and lesbian market. The GNN writes about latest news, stories, trends and gossip that affect the LGBTIQ community in an informative way to connect the community together.

This article was written to provide in-depth facts about major parties on LGBTI youth for the LGBTIQ community in preparation for the upcoming federal Election Day. The Gay News Network strongly believes that it is essential to reduce violence and harassment against LGBTIQ students. Therefore they give us an outline of what each major parties are doing to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia occurring in schools. Additionally it is evident that this article is a well-researched piece as it aims to provide comprehensive information for LGBTIQ voters.

The 2016 Federal Election is said to be one of the most important election for the LGBTIQ communities. Overall the author profoundly writes to make rainbow votes count. Their main aim for this article is to help LGBTIQ people in deciding how to make their vote count.


Article 4.

NSW Safe Schools ‘harassed’ into hiding: youth foundation

Sarah Elks is a Queensland political reporter at The Australian with 9 years of Journalism experience. She has received several awards and honors for excellence in investigative report, coverage and feature writing. In this article she reports about Safe Schools Coalition Australia after NSW pull its schools out from being public on the program’s official website.

This is Elks’ first article based on LGBTIQ rights that is related to Queensland politics. The article is presented in a straightforward style without bias commentary or opinion. Elks was motivated to write this article as NSW become the second state after QLD to no longer be publicly listed on the Safe Schools Coalition Australia website due to harassment experienced by some schools. Similarly Queensland member schools have been hidden from the website for several months after institutions started receiving hate calls.

The concise article indicates the unfortunate struggles the Department of Education goes through for recommending Safe Schools program. It shows that there is still serious disagreement in the community against this program and shaken political agendas.


Article 5.

 LGBT Youths Are Turning To Facebook To Find A Safe Place To Live

Lane Sainty is a reporter at Buzzfeed Australia, focusing on LGBTIQ issues. She has written several issues raising the LGBTIQ rights issue in Australia already. Sainty, herself has been part of LGBT campus society as a Sydney University student before becoming a reporter. During her Arts in Media and Communications studies she has published several articles and collected pieces related to LGBT issue.

Sainty is well aware on the issues based around this topic and is pro LGBT in her articles. In this article Sainty writes about queer housing groups awareness due to the increasing number of LGBT community turning to Facebook to find trust worthy and accepting housemates. The article is presented in a sympathetic stance through various statements from struggling LGBT people looking for homes. The article further communicates the hardship the LGBT people through emphasis on homeless LGBT youth population.

The well-investigated article indicates that the author is writing to bring awareness of this issue to the readers in a sympathetic manner. The article highlights the disadvantages undeniably.



Elks, Sarah. The Australian. 16 July 2016. 30 July 2016 <;.

GayNewsNetwork. Gay News Network. 27 July 2016. 1 August 2016 <;.

McCauley, Dana. 1 August 2016. 1 August 2016 <;.

Sainty, Lane. BuzzFeed. 27 April 2016. 5 August 2016 <;.

Schefman, Lisa. Leader Community News. 9 February 2016. 27 July 2016 <;.


By April Bae