THE INTERSECTION OF ADHD AND LGBT IDENTITIES
Division of Social Work, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
ERIK M. P. SCHOTT *
School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Research looking at identity development for adults with disabilities has been limited . Especially when considering adults diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which has a high potential for remaining a hidden identity . Even less is understood of the intersection of identities for those with both ADHD and sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT]) identities. ADHD and LGBT identities are being disclosed more commonly in workplace and academic settings in Western cultures. As such, it is increasingly important to understand the processes by which adults with ADHD and LGBT identity develop psychosocially. Understanding how this exceptional population develops a healthy identity around their diagnosis and sexual identity may be important for faculty, administrators and employers. This knowledge has the potential to facilitate the creation of safe work and learning environments that do not discriminated or marginalize students and employees based on their disability and sexual identity.
Consideration of the intersection of an ADHD and LGBT identity was the focus of this phenomenological study. Gender and race/ethnicity/culture were two other identities highlighted. Emergent textural descriptions and findings will be discussed and an emerging working model of the intersectionality of ADHD and LGBT will be proposed. The purpose of the model is to assist mental health professionals, medical doctors, social workers, educators and employers in better guiding treatments and providing academic and workplace accommodations. Recommendations for new avenues for further research that focuses on the inclusion of a broader view of multiple identities is examined, rather than a focus on singular facets of identification.
Keywords: ADHD, LGBT, sexual minorities, identity development