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Request for Participants - ‘Coming Out and Coming Back'

By Gemima Fabri,

My name is Gemima Fabri and I am a student at the University of Malta, presently reading for a Master of Arts in Anthropology. I am presently conducting a research study for my dissertation titled ‘Coming Out and Coming Back – Narratives of the Restoration of the Self within the LGBT+ and the ex-LGBT community in Malta’; this is being supervised by Prof. Jean-Paul Baldacchino. This letter is an invitation to participate in this study. Below you will find information about the study and about what your involvement would entail, should you decide to take part.

The aim of my study is to draw comparisons between the narratives of the restoration of the self within the LGBT+ and the ex-LGBT community in Malta. By drawing upon anthropological research based on the coming out process of LGBT+ individuals within Western cultures and studies of religious conversion and homosexuality within Christian communities, this study shall attempt to highlight both similarities as well as idiosyncrasies in the way these two communities negotiate their sexuality in relation to conceptions of identity, the self, and wider sociocultural and religious contexts. Your participation in this study would help contribute to a better understanding of the diverse and different ways people experience sexual orientation in relation to identity. As such, this study may benefit others by providing an opportunity for these varying experiences of sexual orientation and identity to be better understood and thus more accepted within wider society. Any data collected from this research will be used solely for purposes of this study.

Should you choose to participate, you will be asked to participate in a semi-structured interview where the researcher will ask you a set of questions; some of which are prescribed, and some of which pertain to certain issues and topics brought up during the interview. This interview shall be conducted with the aim of understanding the transformation of identities in relation to sexual orientation. The interview will take approximately 1.5hrs and shall be conducted in a place and at a time which is convenient for you.

Data collected will be pseudonymised, i.e., your identity will not be noted on transcripts or notes from the interview, but instead, a code will be assigned. The codes that link your data to your identity will be stored securely and separately from the data, in an encrypted file on the researcher’spassword-protected computer, and only the researcher,supervisor, and examiners (under exceptional circumstances for verification purposes) will have access to this information. Any hard-copy materials will be placed in a locked cupboard.

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary; in other words, you are free to accept or refuse to participate, without needing to give a reason. You are also free to withdraw from the study at any time, without needing to provide any explanation and without any negative repercussions for you. Should you choose to withdraw, any identifiable data collected from your interview will be destroyed immediately.

If you choose to participate, please note that there are no direct benefits to you. Your participation does not entail any known or anticipated risks.

Please also note that as a participant, you have the right under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and national legislation to access, rectify and where applicable ask for the data concerning you to be erased. All identifiable data will be erased five years from the completion of this study, while all other data will be securely stored in a pseudonymized form.

A copy of this information sheet is being provided for you to keep and for future reference. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail: . You can also contact my supervisor over the phone: 23403714 or via email: .

Sincerely, Gemima Fabri & Prof.Jean-Paul Baldacch

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