Plus sign graphics above hand on blue background
Young people who identify at LGBTQ+ are more likely to experience low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, including social anxiety, alcohol and/or substance use, eating problems, suicidal feelings, self-harm, and other mental health conditions. This is not because they identify as LGBTQ+ but because of other societal issues they face, such as bigotry and homophobia or transphobia, stigma and discrimination, difficult experiences of coming out, and rejection or exclusion from family and friends.
Many LGBTQ+ peoples find solace and support from online communities and educational and information-driven sites that can help them categorise and identify their unique gender identities and sexual orientations. 
Researchers are interested in how gender and sexual minority youth (GSMY) who self-identify as having unique gender or unique sexual identities, explore internet-enabled information and communication technologies (ICTs) and how this, in turn, affects their identity trajectories and self-labelling.
Working with The International Partnership for Queer Youth Resilience (INQYR) via their project Beyond the Plus Sign, researchers from the Centre for Health Technology and The Ohio State University use life mapping as a powerful visual method to empower GSMY participants to share their unique experiences and perspectives.
Through this study, we aspire to challenge traditional identity development models, support GSMY communities, and foster a more inclusive and empathetic community. 

Centre for Health Technology

Bringing together digital health and health technology expertise from across the University to drive the development, evaluation and implementation of innovative technologies, products, services and approaches to transform health and social care.
Centre for Health Technology