Researching for LGBTQ Health

Pathways to low-wage and precarious employment: A critical narrative inquiry among gay, bisexual, and queer men

2SLGBTQ+ people are one of the least studied populations in the labour market, despite disproportionate rates of poverty, workplace discrimination, and wage disparities. Precarious employment now dominates the labour market, leading to poorer health outcomes, stress, and isolation. Marginalized groups bear the greatest burden of this. Unfortunately, 2SLGBTQ+ people have been left out of current research on precarious employment, and this study aims to begin to address this gap.

This critical narrative inquiry sought to better understand the labour market experiences and outcomes of low-wage and precariously employed gay, bisexual, and queer men. Interviews with gay, bisexual, and queer men were conducted about their stories of employment. We critically examined how the experiences of these men were shaped and facilitated within contemporary socio-political and economic contexts. In partnership with employment agencies throughout Toronto, we were interested in developing strategies for service providers and employers, as well as informing policy, to reduce barriers to stable and safe work.

Objectives:

(1) To explore labour market and economic insecurity experiences of gay, bisexual and queer men:

  1. identify and tell an overarching story of the pathways and mechanisms that lead these men to economic insecurity and precarious employment and
  2. describe the mental health impacts of precarious employment and generate theoretical transferability around the mental health consequences of labour market experiences related to economic insecurity and precarious employment.

(2) To critically examine how the experiences of these men are shaped and facilitated within contemporary socio-political and economic contexts (e.g., neoliberal ideology, heteronormativity, sexism, and classism).

Funding Source:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council – Partnership Engage Grant

Community Partner:

St Stephen's Community House & The Neighbourhood Group

Research Team:

  • David Kinitz, PhD, MSW, RSW (primary contact: queeremploymentlab@gmail.com)
    Primary investigator
    Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Lori Ross, PhD
    Project supervisor and co-supervisor of David's PhD
    Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, U of T
  • Darcy Losell, Job Coach
    Community partner lead
    St. Stephen's Community House Employment Services
  • Dionne Gesink, PhD
    Co-supervisor of David's PhD
    Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, U of T
  • Ellen MacEachen, PhD
    Committee member of David's PhD
    Professor, School of Public Health Science, U of Waterloo

Project Outcomes:

  • A community event will take place at the YMCA on November 8, 2023 at 4:00PM to share study results with service providers and members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
  • Several academic articles are current underway and will be uploaded once published.
  • Study results have been presented at academic conferences in Canada and the US.
  • Two policy briefs are underway on topics of 2SLGBTQ+ employment barriers and training barriers, and will be uploaded once published.
  • A summary of research findings has been prepared and will be shared with employment coaches at The Neighbourhood Group and will be uploaded once finalized.
  • Lunch and learn sessions have been developed for employment coaches and are being delivered in fall 2023.
  • The full version of David's PhD will be accessible and linked here in December 2023.