Faggot Speaks: A Poetic Inquiry into the Experience of Antigay Mistreatment and Sexual Prejudice


  • Silvio Machado Sanville Institute




Gay, Homophobia, Sexual Prejudice, Poetic Inquiry, Autobiographical Poetry, Autoethnography


Research suggests that, compared to heterosexual counterparts, gay men and other sexual minorities are at higher risk of developing emotional distress and mental disorders. The sexual minority stress model attributes these health disparities to the chronic social stress that arises in response to exposure to antigay mistreatment and sexual prejudice pervasive in the culture. Little research has been done to illuminate the lived experience of exposure to prejudiced behaviors and attitudes and this inquiry aims to begin to fill this gap by addressing the following questions: What is the experience of being mistreated for being gay or perceived as gay? What is the experience of being exposed to sexual prejudice when one is gay? Using the writing of autobiographical poetry as a process of inquiry and the resulting poems as narrative data, I explore my own experiences with antigay encounters and sexual prejudice over the course of my life. The intent is to vivify and magnify the phenomenon under investigation via evocative poetic renderings aimed to foster empathy and embodied understanding in the reader.

Author Biography

Silvio Machado, Sanville Institute

Dr. Machado holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Saybrook University, where he specialized in lesbian, gay, and bisexual mental health, depth psychologies and psychotherapies, and qualitative research methods. In addition to his private psychotherapy practice, he is on the core faculty of the Sanville Institute for Clinical Social Work and Psychotherapy, as well as on the adjunct faculty at Sonoma State and Meridian Universities. His primary areas of scholarship interest include depth psychologies/psychotherapies and their application to sexual minority issues. He is particularly interested in the archetypal underpinnings of gay identity development, internalized homophobia, psychotherapy with gay men, and the psychological impact of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Machado utilizes qualitative methods in his research, particularly performative and arts-based approaches.


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How to Cite

Machado, S. (2016). Faggot Speaks: A Poetic Inquiry into the Experience of Antigay Mistreatment and Sexual Prejudice. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 1(1), 65–87. https://doi.org/10.18432/R23W2M