Discrimination and victimization against gay men and lesbians in Chile: Two patterns or just one?
RESUMEN La marcha por el Orgullo Lésbico, Gay, Bisexual y Transgénero se realiza cada año en Santiago de Chile y aglutina a minorías sexuales, pe ro también a heterosexuales que asisten para apoyar a dicha población en la reinvindación de sus derechos. Específicamente, el propósito del estudio realizado fue describir a gay y lesbianas participantes en la Marcha del Orgullo desde el punto de vista de la discriminación y la victimización. Se centró solo en dicha población ya que mayoritariamente
... s la que asiste a la marcha y porque no existen estudios previos que comparen en el país a ambos grupos. Además, tuvo como objetivo mostrar que los hombres gay sufren más discriminación y victimización que las lesbianas. La muestra consistió en 203 gay y lesbianas mayores de 18 años. Con respecto a los resultados, la proporción de gay que reportaron haber percibido eventos de discriminación fue igual al 72.7% y 79.6% en las lesbianas. Asimismo, el 81.8% del total de los gay reportaron eventos de victimización y un 75.3% del total de las lesbianas. Se observan diferencias significativas entre gay y lesbianas, afectando solo a las últimas, en la pro hibición de entrada o permanencia en lugares de entretención, discriminación ejercida por agentes de seguridad y discriminación laboral. Entre los eventos de victimización, gay informaron más burlas que las lesbianas. Se concluye que hay similaridades en los eventos de discriminación y victimización percibidos por gay y lesbianas, pero también algunas diferencias. La existencia de un patrón diferenciado entre gay y lesbianas deberá ser confirmada en futuros estudios. ABSTRACT The Lesbian, Gay men, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade takes place in Santiago (Chile) every year. It gathers sexual minorities and also heterosexuals who attend to support LGBT population rights vindication. Spe cifically, the objective of the study was to describe gay men and lesbians who participate in the LGBT Pride Parade, from the viewpoint of discrimination and victimization. In this sense, this study is innovating because it is based on questionnaires administered in the context of LGBT Pride Parades. In Chile, data on this issue are scarce. There are few previous studies on the topic, reveal ing that many LGBT people report dis crimination and victimization in different situations and contexts. Nevertheless, these studies have not clearly stated the existing differences in the patterns of discrimination and victimization events that affect the different groups (for example, those that affect gay men and lesbians). So, the study focused only on this population for two reasons: first, mainly LGBT subjects attend the parade and secondly, there were no previous studies to compare both groups in the country. Second, the study also aimed at showing that gay men suffer greater discrimination and victimization than lesbians. A non-probabilistic sample of 343 participants was collected. From this sample, 140 subjects were excluded as they did not identify themselves as gay men or lesbians, thus totaling a sample of 203 participants. There were a total of 110 gay men (54.2%) and 93 lesbians (45.8%), aging from 18 to 53 years (M = 24.62 and SD = 6.62). Concerning results, 72.7% of gay men reported discrimination events perceived, as compared to 79.6% of lesbians. In addition, 81.8% of gay men reported victimization events, while lesbians reported 75.3 %. Significant differences are observed between gay men and lesbians, affecting only the latter in: prohibition to enter or stay in entertainment venues, discrimination by security guards, and discrimination at work. Among victimization events, gays reported more mockery than lesbians. This study has various implications. One of them is the fact that an important place where gay men and particularly lesbians are discriminated is their workplace. Future studies will have to focus on investigating the impact of discrimination due to sexual orientation in a work context. In addition, future studies should further examine whether verbal mockery-type victimization and its impact on the gay men population is a common pattern of victimization toward the country's LGBT population. Likewise, it would be necessary to study whether other relevant dimensions in the country, such as social class and religion, contribute to experiencing this type of victimization. Also, there are therapists in Chile who consider homosexuality as an illness and apply recon versive therapies, thus contributing to stigmatization and violence toward sexual minorities. Therefore, this study may contribute to the training of future therapists and health personnel assisting gay men and lesbians since sexual minorities have reported that they face various barriers that prevent them from having equal access to health services, a fact that could have a great impact on their quality of life. Finally, considering the differences in discrimination and victimization found between gay men and lesbians in Chile: Do gay men experience more discrimination and victimization events than lesbians? Are there two different patterns of discrim ination and victimization or, instead, a general one that affects both gay men and lesbians in Chile? Data are not conclusive. They indicate that there are many similarities in the dis crimination and victimization events perceived by gay men and lesbians, but they also reveal two different patterns. Therefore, the existence of a differentiated pattern of discrimination and victimization between gay men and lesbians should be confirmed by future studies.