It’s time to consider LGBTQ-affirmative psychology in Malaysia
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/14814
International studies have revealed stark mental health inequities affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. While there is increasing awareness of higher prevalence of mental health difficulties among LGBTQ people in Malaysia, this issue has often been viewed through a cisheterosexist (cisgenderism and heterosexism) lens that criminalizes, pathologizes, marginalizes, and/or delegitimizes noncisgender and nonheterosexual forms of identities. Informed by LGBTQ-affirmative psychology, this viewpoint aims to scrutinize the common misconceptions surrounding the living experiences of Malaysian LGBTQ people; these include poor mental health among LGBTQ people, victim-blaming narrative of sexual violence, LGBTQ is a mental illness, and LGBTQ is a Western influence. This viewpoint draws on empirical and theoretical research, as well as international guidelines, to debunk these misconceptions. Recommendations are also provided for psychology practitioners and researchers to embark on the journey to supporting Malaysian LGBTQ people in a culturally safe manner.
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