Validation can be defined as the recognition or affirmation that someone’s feelings/opinions/identities are valid or worthwhile. Stress due to marginalisation is one of the key factors that impacts upon the mental health of LGBTQ+ young people. By contrast, validation and affirmation of feelings and identities offers a way to reduce the impact of this ‘Minority Stress.’
Validation of identity is especially important for LGBTQ+ young people, and is possible when the principles of Recognition and Belonging are upheld.
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This looks like:
Affirming and valuing different LGBTQ+ identities in interactions and service systems; and fostering a sense of connection to LGBTQ+ community and culture.
When this is not achieved LGBTQ+ young people can feel MARGINALISED
Mo* (young person) said “I was asked my pronouns and I told the member of staff I wasn’t sure because part of me prefers he and part of me prefers they, and he told me that you can totally say ‘he/they’. Which for some reason felt quite revolutionary. I’d never thought of that before and that’s what I go by now.”
*These quotations use pseudonyms and have been anonymised to protect participant’s identity.