"…full of opportunities, but not for everyone": a narrative inquiry into mechanisms of labor market inequity among precariously employed gay, bisexual, and queer men

Publication type
Journal article
Kinitz DJ, Ross LE, MacEachen E, Fehr C, Gesink D
Date published
2024 Apr 01
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Open Access?

BACKGROUND: This study brings lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (trans), and queer (LGBTQ+) populations into scholarly discourse related to precarious employment through a political economy of queer struggle. METHODS: Drawing on narrative inquiry, 20 gay, bisexual, and queer men shared stories of precarious employment that were analyzed using Polkinghorne's narrative analysis. RESULTS: Results tell an overarching narrative in three parts that follow the trajectory of participants' early life experiences, entering the labor market and being precariously employed. Part 1: Devaluation of LGBTQ+ identities and adverse life experiences impacted participants' abilities to plan their careers and complete postsecondary education. Part 2: Participants experienced restricted opportunities due to safety concerns and learned to navigate white, cis, straight, Canadian ideals that are valued in the labor market. Part 3: Participants were without protections to respond to hostile treatment for fear of losing their employment. CONCLUSIONS: These stories of precarious employment illustrate unique ways that LGBTQ+ people might be particularly susceptible to exploitative labor markets