OK to be LGBT?
: an exploratory study into the human development and well-being of the LGBT community in Northern Ireland

  • Danielle Mackle

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


There has been a dearth of qualitative academic literature that relates to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT) in Northern Ireland. There are gaps in the knowledge and understanding of the issues and everyday experiences that impact on the human development and well-being of people who identify as LGBT. This research has set out to focus on the quality of life and well-being of the LGBT community in Northern Ireland where there are existing legal and social restrictions on LGBT capabilities, that is to say, what an individual is able to do and to be. To explore this, the research has adapted a framework known as the Integrated Capabilities Framework (ICF). Hodgett and Clark (2011) have developed the ICF using the Capability Approach, the Livelihood Approach and the Chronic Poverty Approach. All three of these approaches offer different insights into studying well-being, therefore the ICF is equipped to explore the concept of well-being holistically. This study gathered data from 40 participants. Using the adapted LGBT ICF questionnaire, 5 in-depth interviews were conducted with LGBT stakeholder representatives as well as with 35 LGBT community participants. The application of the LGBT ICF generated a wealth of new data. This new information will serve to enhance policy and professional practice with the aim of helping to improve the overall quality of life and well-being of the LGBT community in Northern Ireland. This study has provided a unique contribution to theory due to the adaptation and application of the LGBT ICF with LGBT stakeholder and community participants. Further, this study has proved that the LGBT ICF could be used with LGBT communities globally, to assist academics, policy makers and governments to assess how well the community is living and to identify any gaps in academic knowledge and policy.
Date of AwardMay 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorFiona Bloomer (Supervisor) & Susan L. Hodgett (Supervisor)


  • Capability approach
  • Quality of life
  • Well-being
  • Human rights
  • Social justice

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