Un/belonging identities: relating narratives of queer trauma

Mark Vicars, Jordan Gonzalez, Liam Wrigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This Research Topic will examine the impact of trauma as it relates to the lived experiences of well-being on and in LGBTQIA+ lives in educational domains. The papers in the Topic will (re)present kaleidoscopic experiences of the social and cultural landscapes of the performative abjection of Queer gender and sexuality as experienced in and across cultural differences and intersectionality in school settings. The papers in the collection will draw on the sociology of affect as a lens for addressing how social and emotional well-being in LGBTQIA+ lives is a constant negotiation for young people. The concept of social well-being has been instrumental in bringing together a number of burgeoning disciplines across the social field sector and this Research Topic will focus on how LGBTQIA+ self-identified young people navigate historical traumas, social isolation and generate social well-being in their personal lives and communities.

Researchers like Van der Kolk (2015) and Perry and Winfrey (2021) draw our attention to the impact of trauma on the body and the brain. They highlight the damaging and often long-term effect of trauma on brain development and the nervous system. Attention is also given to the ways in which trauma can inhibit, weaken and alter higher order thinking skills, concentration and neurological pathways in the brain. The body’s response to trauma can also result in a constant release of hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol that can lead to a heightened nervous system. To date there has been limited research on LGBTQI+ trauma informed narratives and their effects in Queer life worlds. The Research Topic will disseminate trauma-informed educative frameworks of practice, strengths-based resources and culturally inclusive language protocols (Greig, Bailey, Abbott, & Brunzell, 2021).

The scope of the topic is outlined but not limited to the following themes:

• Narrate how the presence of trauma is negotiated and navigated in interpersonal and intersectional relationships in LGBTQ lives and learning environments;
• Explore the long lasting health and well-being impacts of trauma across differing LGBTQIA+ cultural groups
• Consider the ways is which LGBTQI+ individuals protect against, manage and process their exposure to trauma that reside at and are activated by the intersections of lived experience.
• Learn where the gaps are in developing skills and knowledge tied to LGBTQIA+ trauma informed social well-being across a range of social and cultural identity affiliations.
• Build knowledge around the type of support model required for people who educate and care for young people with trauma backgrounds and experiences in a range of contexts including youth work and school settings.

It is anticipated that the collection will draw on a range of qualitative methodologies and the focus will include the impact of trauma on social well-being across all life stages: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and aging. Papers will also focus on different phases of education, including primary, secondary, further and higher education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Sociology
Publication statusIn preparation - Sept 2023


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