Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Subject Area(s)

Library and Information Science, Health Informatics, LGBTQ Studies


Although LGBTQ+ populations experience significant health challenges, little research exists that investigates their health from an informational perspective. Our study addresses this gap by exploring the health information practices of LGBTQ+ communities in South Carolina, focusing on how sociocultural context shapes these practices. Thirty semi-structured interviews with South Carolina LGBTQ+ community leaders analyzed using open qualitative coding informed the development of a conceptual framework describing their information practices. Findings show that participants engaged in two broad types of practices – protective and defensive – as responses to risks and barriers experienced, which are in turn produced by social and structural factors. Findings advance information practices and marginalization approaches and offer ways for medical professionals to improve service to LGBTQ+ populations.

APA Citation

Kitzie, V., Wagner, T.L., & Vera, N. (2020). “In the Beginning, It Was Little Whispers...Now, We’re Almost a Roar”: Conceptualizing a Model for Community and Self in LGBTQ+ Health Information Practices. Paper to be presented at 2020 iConference, Borås, Sweden, March 23-25.