Starlin Astacio, Ph.D., is a 2023 graduate of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kevin Lyness, PhD, LMFT, Committee Chair
  • Markie L. C. Twist, PhD, LMFT, LMHC, CSE, Committee Member
  • Alex Iantaffi, PhD, MS, SEP, CST, LMFT, Committee Member


Caribbean Latino; gay men; sexual identity process; Latinx LGBTQ+; cultural influences; family dynamics; thematic analysis

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This qualitative study aims to explore the unique experiences and challenges faced by Latino Caribbean cisgender gay men within their cultural and social contexts. Using focus group and thematic analysis, the researcher examines the narratives and perspectives of a diverse sample of Latino Caribbean cisgender gay men (n = 6) to gain insights into their sexual identity process, cultural influences, family dynamics, and support systems utilizing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as the methodological framework. The researcher’s findings highlight the themes of Awareness of Sexual Identity, Visibility Management, Spanish Caribbean Families' Influences, Being True to Oneself, and Positive Experiences & Role Models as key factors influencing the participants' experiences. These findings underscore the importance of understanding the intersections between sexual and cultural identities for Latino Caribbean cisgender gay men. The participants navigate the complex process of self-acceptance and disclosure while balancing cultural expectations and societal norms. The role of family and community support emerges as both a source of strength and potential challenge in their journeys of self-exploration and acceptance. The findings shed light on the need to research the sexual identity process for Caribbean LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families within a social justice framework. These findings highlight the importance of creating inclusive spaces, promoting visibility, and providing culturally sensitive support services to address the unique needs of this population. And contribute to the existing literature on sexual identity development, cultural diversity, and family dynamics, and provide insights that can inform interventions, policies, and practices aimed at promoting the well-being and empowerment of Latino Caribbean LGBTQ+ individuals


Starlin Astacio

ORCID Scholar ID# 0009-0006-0869-861X