While 4-H espouses to be inclusive of all, the reality is often that the bulk of membership within 4-H community clubs is viewed with a heteronormative lens of participation. Recognizing that existing studies of gay and bisexual individuals who grew up in 4-H do not exist, this study is novel and critical to begin to fill the research gap and provide evidence of the experiences of gay male youth in 4-H. A total of 165 gay and bisexual men who are 4-H alumni shared what about 4-H helped them feel included, that they belonged, and what about the experience caused them to feel excluded. Respondents also offer advice to help 4-H leaders create welcoming and inclusive environments where LGBTQ+ children may thrive. Furthermore, based on the findings, recommendations for the Cooperative Extension System and future studies are offered.



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