Intersectionality and Engagement among the LGBTQ+ Community

Meghan Bergersen, Samara Klar, Elizabeth Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community makes progress toward attaining equal rights, a growing body of scholarly attention is focusing on this increasingly visible minority group. Yet studies of attitudes among LGBTQ+ Americans themselves remain limited because of small sample sizes and scarce data. As a result, scholarly work on LGBTQ+ issues is almost entirely devoted to measuring straight America’s opinions. In this study we administer both a survey and an experiment to a sample of LGBTQ+ Americans. Our findings are twofold. First, we demonstrate that intersectionality has important effects on attitudes within the LGBTQ+ community. Specifically, LGBTQ+ respondents who are at the intersection of multiple minority groups display lower levels of political engagement. Second, we test the mobilizing influence of out-group versus in-group cues on LGBTQ+ Americans. In line with previous work, we find that government action to support a threatening out-group engages LGBTQ+ Americans to support in-group candidates, whereas government action to support their own in-group has a significantly smaller effect. These findings help us to understand an increasingly politically active subset of the electorate and, more broadly, shed light on the influence of intersectionality on political attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-219
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Women, Politics and Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Identities
  • experiment
  • intersectionality
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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