“It’s not okay for you to call me that”: How sexual and gender minority youth cope with bullying victimization

Jordan M. Sang, William Louth-Marquez, Emmett R. Henderson, James E. Egan, Carla D. Chugani, Simon C. Hunter, Dorothy Espelage, Mark S. Friedman, Robert W.S. Coulter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
222 Downloads (Pure)


Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) have higher rates of bullying than their heterosexual peers and must disproportionately cope with bullying victimization. The purpose of this research is to highlight various coping strategies employed by SGMY. We conducted 20 cross-sectional, semi-structured online interviews with SGMY about their bullying experiences and coping strategies. We coded interviews with descriptive qualitative research to illustrate a comprehensive summary of bullying-related coping methods. We found SGMY engage in multiple coping strategies that include (1) emotion-focused coping—rumination; self-harm and considering or attempting suicide; seeking social and emotional support; engaging in creative endeavors; self-acceptance and community connectedness—and (2) problem-focused coping—reporting the bully; confronting the bully; conceal orientation; ignoring the bullying; and changing environment. Additionally, most SGMY reported using multiple coping techniques or changing how they coped over time (i.e., coping flexibility). These findings can inform future interventions to promote positive coping mechanisms among SGMY.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-427
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number3
Early online date9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY)
  • coping
  • bullying
  • victimization
  • stigma
  • gender minority
  • qualitative
  • SGMY
  • sexual minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies


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