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Research Justice at the Intersections

Brandon Valentine
B Valentine
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Mills College

The Importance of Authenticity and Compassion for LGBQ-PoC

Authenticity is commonly defined as “the unobstructed operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise” (Goldman & Kernis, 2002, pg. 18). While much research has illustrated the importance of authenticity for psychological health and well-being, little work has considered this construct for marginalized individuals. I intend to continue researching the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people of color (LGBQ-PoC) with relation to authenticity and discrimination. I also plan to explore the implications of mindfulness training for developing skills to manage minority stress and encourage experiences of authenticity. Using mixed methods I plan to explore the relationships between authenticity and discrimination for LGBQ-PoC across various social contexts (e.g., workplace, school, family). I hope to gain input from other participants in the RJI program for directing these ideas in ways that can be used in collaboration with community organizations and utilize community based participatory action designs.


Brandon Valentine is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Mills College and a PhD candidate in the Personality and Social context area of Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His dissertation, "Identity Authenticity for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People of Color,” uses intersectionality and other critical theories to explore culture, community, and well-being among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) individuals. Valentine’s research focuses on how LGBQ people of color (LGBQ-PoC) develop their authentic self, negotiate their identities in various contexts, and use compassion to navigate social and cultural stigma. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, he has gathered and analyzed data in three distinct studies and has found that authenticity and compassion are closely linked and deeply rooted in community. While these individuals have experienced exceptional life challenges, Valentine's findings suggest that LGBQ-PoC work hard to form supportive communities and develop their own cultures of compassion and authentic connection. Valentine has published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Personality and Social Psychology Review and Current Directions in Psychological Science. Brandon has been the graduate student instructor of courses such as Human Sexuality, Personality, and Social Psychology.

Research Justice at the Intersections


RJI Scholars Program

2015-16 Scholars

Last Updated: 9/5/17