Authors: Fung Kei Cheng
Addresses: Hong Kong, China
Abstract: Many individuals with non-heterosexual orientation or gender non-conformity are afflicted by prejudice, discrimination and isolation. This issue has been discussed in the religious field; however, little research has explored it from a Buddhist perspective. This qualitative inquiry investigates the coping strategies of Buddhist sexual minorities, including American, British, Chinese and Malay LGBTs, to overcome adversity in a heterosexual-dominated context. It uses semi-structured interviews to collect data that are analysed by interpretative phenomenological analysis, with the aid of a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis package. Member-checking is utilised to enhance academic trustworthiness. The participants address the importance of self-acceptance (part of self-compassion) through their narratives, together with support resources, when they attain a better understanding of the nature of suffering, impermanence, karma and mindfulness. It also unveils the importance of support from religious leaders, peers and family. These significantly help them strengthen their resilience and improve mental health, resulting in well-being.
Keywords: Buddhism; LGBT; mental health; mindfulness; self-acceptance; self-compassion; well-being.
International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2017 Vol.3 No.4, pp.368 - 383
Received: 03 Dec 2016
Accepted: 08 Mar 2017
Published online: 13 Nov 2017 *