LGBTQ + Grassroots Activists’ Perspectives on Banning Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts

Travis R. Scheadler, Katherine R. Haus, Tanner A. Mobley, Kristen P. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE) remains a threat to LGBTQ + young people throughout many parts of the USA, increasing risks for many mental health problems, including suicidal behaviors. Little research, though, has examined the strategies activists use to ban licensed professionals (e.g., social workers) from practicing SOGICE. The present study, therefore, involved semi-structured interviews with 15 LGBTQ + individuals affiliated with a grassroots organization focused on banning SOGICE in one Southern state in the USA. Thematic analysis generated six themes: knowledge is power, empathy and communication, utilizing media platforms, professional development, awareness of diversity, and growth areas. Findings suggest LGBTQ + grassroots activism organizations should focus on educating members and volunteers about SOGICE, history, and the legislative process, strengthen empathy-related skills, amplify their voices through media platforms, provide opportunities for job skill development, and foster inclusive environments. Social workers can use these findings to strengthen activism-related skills among LGBTQ + individuals interested in becoming activists to ban SOGICE in Southern states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Rights and Social Work
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Activism, sexual orientation and gender change efforts, qualitative methods
  • Community-based participatory research
  • LGBTQ +


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