T Q&A with Jack Simons



Tucson Weekly
by Natalia Navarro
February 25, 2016

Jack Simons is a researcher involved in the Tucson branch of the federally funded Generations Study, a long term investigation into the experiences of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Simons and collegues have interviewed more than 50 Tucsonans and they are looking for more. Similar interviews are being conducted by Generations Study researchers in San Francisco, New York, and Austin, Texas. Simons also works as a school counselor at Esperero Canyon Middle School.

Why does the Generations Study wish to conduct interviews?

The interviews are really to illuminate what's going to be found in a nationwide quantitative survey, to bring life to those questions. The qualitative views of these interviews have been really important because they will give voice to quantitative research which is sometimes limited.

 As we know, as people grow and develop, especially non-dominant groups of people, they have stories that are very personal and very unique in regards to how they wrestled and developed and persevered to become who they are.

What kind of things do you focus on in an interview?

We are looking at the areas of sexual orientation and sexual identity development, stress, coping strategies, the intersections of identities with regard to communities people are involved in. The last major area that is being studied is healthcare access and experience with medical care as well as mental health care. That's kind of the broad paintbrush of everything.

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