Making sense of the senseless: the experience of being gay bashed

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Smith, Dale Chad Allen
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Violence against gay men occurs every day. Stories can be found in newspapers, magazines, and on the World Wide Web reporting these incidences, yet there has been little research done from a qualitative perspective that explores the impact of violence on the lives of gay men. How do gay men make sense of the experience and the affects that violence perpetuated against them has on their lives? This research project examines the experiences of gay men that have been victims of various levels of violence directed at them as a result of their sexual orientation and identity as gay men. Using a qualitative approach, six gay men were interviewed and shared their experiences through personal interviews. The data collected within the interviews was then analyzed using Grounded Theory as the methodology. As there has been little research done on the impact that gay bashing has on gay men’s lives, the main objective of the research was to explore the experience of gay bashing with gay men that have been victims of such violence and gain a better understanding of the issues related to this experience. This research will add to the knowledge base around the experiences of sexual minority men and provide information for social workers, medical practitioners, law enforcement agencies, teachers and other service providers that will encounter gay men that are victims of violence. It provides valuable information that can be used to shape policy and practice to better assist gay men that are victims of violence. It also provides a voice to the many men whose stories are never heard and whose experiences are often discounted.
gay, gaybashing, coping, trauma, homophobia, violence, sexual minority, resilience, oppression, heteronormative