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Title: Association between sexual orientation acceptance and suicidal ideation, substance use, and internalised homophobia amongst the pink carpet Y cohort study of young gay, bisexual, and queer men in Singapore
Authors: Ong, Clarence
Tan, Rayner Kay Jin 
Le, Daniel
Tan, Avin
Tyler, Adrian
Tan, Calvin
Kwok, Chronos
Banerjee, Sumita
Wong, Mee Lian 
Keywords: Coming out
Internalized homophobia
Men who have sex with men
Mental health
Sexual orientation
Issue Date: 22-May-2021
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Ong, Clarence, Tan, Rayner Kay Jin, Le, Daniel, Tan, Avin, Tyler, Adrian, Tan, Calvin, Kwok, Chronos, Banerjee, Sumita, Wong, Mee Lian (2021-05-22). Association between sexual orientation acceptance and suicidal ideation, substance use, and internalised homophobia amongst the pink carpet Y cohort study of young gay, bisexual, and queer men in Singapore. BMC Public Health 21 (1) : 971. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: Gay, bisexual and queer (GBQ) men are frequently subjected to minority stressors that have negative impacts on their health. Milestones that include the acceptance and disclosure of sexual identity amongst GBQ men are hence key instruments in understanding the prevalence of internalised homophobia and predicting health outcomes. As such, this work takes a novel approach to deduce the correlates of delayed acceptance of sexual orientation in young GBQ men as a measure of internalised homophobia through retrospective self-reporting and age-based analysis. Methods: Participants were recruited as part of a cohort study exploring the syndemic risks associated with HIV acquisition among young GBQ men in Singapore. We examined their levels of internalised, perceived, experienced homophobia, as well as their health behaviours and suicidal tendencies. Two separate variables were also self-reported by the participants – the age of questioning of sexual orientation and the age of acceptance of sexual orientation. We subsequently recoded a new variable, delayed acceptance of sexual orientation, by taking the difference between these two variables, regressing it as an independent and dependent variable to deduce its psychosocial correlates, as well as its association with other measured instruments of health. Results: As a dependent variable, delayed acceptance of sexual orientation is positively associated with an increase of age and internalised homophobia, while being negatively associated with reporting as being gay, compared to being bisexual or queer. As an independent variable, delayed acceptance of sexual orientation was associated with a delayed age of coming out to siblings and parents, suicide ideation, historical use of substances including smoking tobacco cigarettes and consuming marijuana, as well as reporting higher levels of experienced, internalised and perceived homophobia. Conclusion: Greater levels of early intervention and efforts are required to reduce the heightened experience of minority stress resulting from communal and institutional hostilities. Areas of improvement may include community-based counselling and psychological support for GBQ men, while not forsaking greater education of the social and healthcare sectors. Most importantly, disrupting the stigma narrative of a GBQ ‘lifestyle’ is paramount in establishing an accepting social environment that reduces the health disparity faced by GBQ men. © 2021, The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Public Health
ISSN: 1471-2458
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-10992-6
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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