Research Article
No access
Published Online: 2 March 2022

Body Image Concerns, Correlates, and Community Connection Among Black and Latinx Sexual Minority Cisgender Men and Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Young Adults

Publication: LGBT Health
Volume 9, Issue Number 2


Purpose: We extended the focus on body image research beyond cisgender, White sexual minority men (SMM) by describing body image concerns among Black and Latinx SMM and transgender/gender nonconforming (TGNC) adults and by examining protective effects of community connection.
Methods: From 2016 to 2020, 447 Black and Latinx SMM (94%) and TGNC (6%) individuals in Los Angeles provided data semiannually. Participant endorsement of any body image concerns was determined by five body image codes (weight, fitness, appearance, body area dissatisfaction, and general body image) applied to participants' open-ended lists of health and body concerns. Fixed effects multivariable logistic regression was performed to examine the association between gay and racial/ethnic community connection and odds of any body image concerns, accounting for multiple records per person. An interaction term between gay and racial/ethnic community connection approximated the protective effect of connection to multiple, intersecting communities.
Results: The majority of participants (51%) reported a body image concern, most commonly weight concerns, at least once across three years. Body image concerns were more common among Latinx participants (χ2 = 17.79, p < 0.001) and participants experiencing food insecurity (χ2 = 4.11, p = 0.04) and unmet basic financial needs (χ2 = 10.56, p = 0.001). Gay community connection was protective against body image concerns, but only for participants who had high racial/ethnic community connection (adjusted odds ratio = 0.87, p = 0.05).
Conclusion: Body image concerns were notable, especially among those with low community connection and higher socioeconomic burden. These findings suggest that building connections within SMM/TGNC and racial/ethnic communities may aid in building a support network that buffers against body image concerns.

Get full access to this article

View all available purchase options and get full access to this article.


The views expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.


1. Cash TF: Cognitive-behavioral perspectives on body image. In: Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention. Edited by Cash TF, Smolak L. New York: Guilford Press, 2011, pp 39–47.
2. Frederick DA, Essayli JH: Male body image: The roles of sexual orientation and body mass index across five national U.S. studies. Psychol Men Masc 2016;17:336–351.
3. Morrison MA, Morrison TG, Sager CL. Does body satisfaction differ between gay men and lesbian women and heterosexual men and women? A meta-analytic review. Body Image 2004;1:127–138.
4. Blashill AJ, Tomassilli J, Biello K, et al.: Body dissatisfaction among sexual minority men: Psychological and sexual health outcomes. Arch Sex Behav 2016;45:1241–1247.
5. Tylka TL, Andorka MJ: Support for an expanded tripartite influence model with gay men. Body Image 2012;9:57–67.
6. Kamody RC, Grilo CM, Udo T: Disparities in DSM-5 defined eating disorders by sexual orientation among U.S. adults. Int J Eat Disord 2020;53:278–287.
7. Parker LL, Harriger JA: Eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors in the LGBT population: A review of the literature. J Eat Disord 2020;8:51.
8. Blashill AJ, Safren SA: Body dissatisfaction and condom use self-efficacy: A meta-analysis. Body Image 2015;12:73–77.
9. Crenshaw K: Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist policies. Univ Chic Leg Forum 1989;1989:139–167.
10. McCall L: The complexity of intersectionality. Signs 2005;30:1771–1800.
11. Austen E, Greenaway KH, Griffiths S: Differences in weight stigma between gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men. Body Image 2020;35:30–40.
12. Ricciardelli LA, McCabe MP, Williams RJ, Thompson JK: The role of ethnicity and culture in body image and disordered eating among males. Clin Psychol Rev 2007;27:582–606.
13. Williamson G, Guidinger C, Kelly NR: Low body mass and ethnic identity exploration exacerbate the association between body image concerns and loss of control eating in Hispanic/Latino men. Int J Eat Disord 2020;53:180–190.
14. Brennan DJ, Asakura K, George C, et al.: “Never reflected anywhere”: Body image among ethnoracialized gay and bisexual men. Body Image 2013;10:389–398.
15. Bhambhani Y, Flynn MK, Kellum KK, Wilson KG: Examining sexual racism and body dissatisfaction among men of color who have sex with men: The moderating role of body image inflexibility. Body Image 2019;28:142–148.
16. Siconolfi DE, Kapadia F, Moeller RW, et al.: Body dissatisfaction in a diverse sample of young men who have sex with men: The P18 cohort study. Arch Sex Behav 2016;45:1227–1239.
17. Gonzalez M IV, Blashill AJ: Ethnic/racial and gender differences in body image disorders among a diverse sample of sexual minority U.S. adults. Body Image 2021;36:64–73.
18. Brady JP, Nogg, KA, Rozzell KN, et al.: Body image and condomless anal sex among young Latino sexual minority men. Behav Res Ther 2019;115:129–134.
19. Ashmore RD, Deaux K, McLaughlin-Volpe T: An organizing framework for collective identity: Articulation and significance of multidimensionality. Psychol Bull 2004;130:80–114.
20. Frost DM, Meyer IH: Measuring community connectedness among diverse sexual minority populations. J Sex Res 2012;49:36–49.
21. Perrin PB, Sutter ME, Trujillo MA, et al.: The minority strengths model: Development and initial path analytic validation in racially/ethnically diverse LGBTQ individuals. J Clin Psychol 2020;76:118–136.
22. Petruzzella A, Feinstein BA, Davila J, Lavner JA: Moderators of the association between community connectedness and internalizing symptoms among gay men. Arch Sex Behav 2019;48:1519–1528.
23. Davids CM, Watson LB, Nilsson JE, et al.: Body dissatisfaction among gay men: The roles of sexual objectification, gay community involvement, and psychological sense of community. Psychol Sex Orientat Gend Divers 2015;2:376–385.
24. Convertino AD, Brady JP, Albright CA, et al.: The role of sexual minority stress and community involvement on disordered eating, dysmorphic concerns and appearance- and performance-enhancing drug misuse. Body Image 2021;36:53–63.
25. Gaines SO Jr, Marelich WD, Bledsoe KL, et al.: Links between race/ethnicity and cultural values as mediated by racial/ethnic identity and moderated by gender. J Pers Soc Psychol 1997;72:1460–1476.
26. Bowleg L, Huang J, Brooks K, et al.: Triple jeopardy and beyond: Multiple minority stress and resilience among black lesbians. J Lesbian Stud 2003;7:87–108.
27. de Vries AL, McGuire JK, Steensma TD, et al.: Young adult psychological outcome after puberty suppression and gender reassignment. Pediatrics 2014;134:696–704.
28. McGuire JK, Doty JL, Catalpa JM, Ola C: Body image in transgender young people: Findings from a qualitative, community based study. Body Image 2016;18:96–107.
29. Brewster ME, Velez BL, Breslow AS, Geiger EF: Unpacking body image concerns and disordered eating for transgender women: The roles of sexual objectification and minority stress. J Couns Psychol 2019;66:131–142.
30. Kipke MD, Kubicek K, Wong CF, et al.: A focus on the HIV care continuum through the healthy young men's cohort study: Protocol for a mixed-methods study. JMIR Res Protoc 2019;8:e10738.
31. US Department of Agriculture: U.S. adult food security survey module: Three-stage design, with screeners. 2012. Available at Accessed May 17, 2021.
32. Bernard HR, Ryan GW: Codebooks and coding. In: Analyzing Qualitative Data: Systematic Approaches. Edited by Bernard HR, Wutich A, Ryan GW. California: Sage, 2010, pp 75–106.
33. Landis JR, Koch GG: The measurement of observer agreement of categorical data. Biometrics 1977;33:159–174.
34. Brooks VR: Minority Stress and Lesbian Women. Lexington: Lexington Books, 1981.
35. Meyer IH: Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychol Bull 2003;129:674–697.
36. Badenes-Ribera L, Fabris MA, Longobardi C: The relationship between internalized homonegativity and body image concerns in sexual minority men: A meta-analysis. Psychol Sex 2018;9:251–268.
37. Kimmel SB, Mahalik JR: Body image concerns of gay men: The roles of minority stress and conformity to masculine norms. J Consult Clin Psychol 2005;73:1185–1190.
38. McConnell EA, Janulis P, Phillips G II, et al.: Multiple minority stress and LGBT community resilience among sexual minority men. Psychol Sex Orientat Gend Divers 2018;5:1–12.
39. Pachankis JE, Clark KA, Burton CL, et al.: Sex, status, competition, and exclusion: Intraminority stress from within the gay community and gay and bisexual men's mental health. J Pers Soc Psychol 2020;119:713–740.
40. Levine M: Gay Macho. New York: New York University Press, 1998.
41. Duncan D: Embodying the gay self: Body image, reflexivity and embodied identity. Health Sociol Rev 2010;19:437–450.
42. De Santis JP, Layerla DM, Barroso S, et al.: Predictors of eating attitudes and behaviors among gay Hispanic men. Arch Psychiatr Nurs 2012;26:111–126.
43. Drummond MJN: Asian gay men's bodies. J Mens Stud 2005;13:291–300.
44. Wilton L: A preliminary study of body image and HIV sexual risk behavior in black gay and bisexual men: Implications for HIV prevention. J Gay Lesbian Soc Serv 2009;21:309–325.
45. Bowleg L: The problem with the phrase women and minorities: Intersectionality—An important theoretical framework for public health. Am J Public Health 2012;102:1267–1273.
46. Ford CL, Airhihenbuwa CO: The public health critical race methodology: Praxis for antiracism research. Soc Sci Med 2010;71:1390–1398.
47. Calzo JP, Masyn KE, Corliss HL, et al.: Patterns of body image concerns and disordered weight- and shape-related behaviors in heterosexual and sexual minority adolescent males. Dev Psychol 2015;51:1216–1225.

Information & Authors


Published In

cover image LGBT Health
LGBT Health
Volume 9Issue Number 2February/March 2022
Pages: 122 - 130
PubMed: 34981966


Published online: 2 March 2022
Published in print: February/March 2022
Published ahead of print: 3 January 2022


Request permissions for this article.




Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Eric K. Layland
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Justin C. Smith
Positive Impact Health Centers, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Michele D. Kipke
Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Bethany C. Bray
Institute for Health Research and Policy, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Address correspondence to: Zachary A. Soulliard, PhD, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, Suite 316, New Haven, CT 06510, USA [email protected]

Authors' Contributions

Z.A.S. contributed to the conceptualization of the study, assisted in conducting the qualitative analyses, led the writing of the original draft, and reviewed and edited the article. E.K.L. contributed to the conceptualization of the study, conducted formal analyses, assisted in the writing of the original draft, and reviewed and edited the article. J.C.S. contributed to the conceptualization of the study, assisted in conducting the qualitative analyses, assisted in the writing of the original draft, and reviewed and edited the article. M.D.K. and B.C.B. conducted the investigation, curated the data associated with the study, and reviewed and edited the article. All coauthors reviewed and approved of the article before submission.

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (U01DA036926; P50 DA039838) and the National Institute of Mental Health (T32MH020031) of the National Institutes of Health.

Metrics & Citations



Export citation

Select the format you want to export the citations of this publication.

View Options

Get Access

Access content

To read the fulltext, please use one of the options below to sign in or purchase access.

Society Access

If you are a member of a society that has access to this content please log in via your society website and then return to this publication.

Restore your content access

Enter your email address to restore your content access:

Note: This functionality works only for purchases done as a guest. If you already have an account, log in to access the content to which you are entitled.

View options


View PDF/ePub

Full Text

View Full Text







Copy the content Link

Share on social media

Back to Top