Toward Sexual Health Equity for Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: An Intergenerational, Collaborative, Multisector Partnerships Approach to Structural Change.Health Educ Behav. 2019 10; 46(1_suppl):88S-99S.HE
Background. Gay, bisexual, and transgender youth (GBTY) experience sexual health inequities and contend with intersectional oppression. The Michigan Forward in Enhancing Research and Community Equity (MFierce) Coalition formed as an intergenerational, collaborative, multisector partnership with a focus on implementing community-identified policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change strategies to address inequities and injustices. Aims. We describe MFierce coalition development and structural change activities organized within Collaborating for Equity and Justice (CEJ) principles and provide empirical data supporting the utility of such principles. Method. We prioritized leadership by GBTY and created personal and professional capacity-building activities to support GBTY in being change agents. Our work was grounded in community-engaged scholarship and used a shared-power community development process. Our PSE change intervention, the Health Access Initiative (HAI), was a structural change program for health facilities aimed at improving the quality of and access to sexual health care for GBTY. Results. We evaluated coalition functioning and activities through multimethod assessments and evaluated PSE changes through HAI participant surveys. Data demonstrated positive and steady coalition dynamics, multiple benefits of participation for GBTY, and strategies for collaborative multigenerational community work. HAI outcome data revealed significant increases in PSE changes. Discussion. Centering life experiences of GBTY in collaborative partnerships and building opportunities for professional and personal development can support sustainable community change. We offer recommendations for developing future intergenerational, collaborative, multisector partnerships that prioritize youth leadership. Conclusion. Collaborative methods and careful consideration of adult-youth dynamics can inform future transformative efforts focused on health equity and justice for GBTY.