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The same kind of thinking is coursing through Twitter, which has repeatedly come under attack for its dismal minority numbers. Late last year, the social-media company — which is 65 percent male and just 3 percent black and Latino — replaced the woman who was its diversity chief with Jeffrey Siminoff, a white male. Their rationale: Siminoff is gay, which makes him minority enough.

Gay Men’s “Coming Out” Stories

Yeah, right. Without doubt, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people face a gauntlet of legally and socially sanctioned discrimination throughout America. There are no national laws protecting LGBTs in the workplace, for instance, while local-level ordinances vary from state to state, even city to city. Off-screen, the situation is even more weighted toward white men: Not much is different up in Silicon Valley.

Leading tech firms there report that, on average, its employees are 71 percent men, 29 percent women, 60 percent white, 23 percent Asian, 8 percent Latino, and 7 percent black. LGBTs, however, are well represented in both the tech and entertainment industries. Hollywood and Silicon Valley are also based in the most tolerant sections of the most tolerant state in the nation.

They do. But in bundling sexuality with race and gender, Murphy has displayed a level of tone-deafness that no longer works in this post- oscarsowhite era. All the guys there, of course, are like muscular and stuff like that, and I thought I was attracted to that.

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Some, really -- like guys with, like, dark features. The perceived shared experience as racialized minorities in a largely white gay community provided the men with the necessary frame for constructing their life narratives along both race and sexuality. In recent years, sociological studies of sexual identity has come a long way in examining the ways that social context influences the ways that non-heterosexual identities are constructed Rowe That is, while much has been done to examine the ways that different contexts lead to different types of gay identities Brown-Saracino , there has been a dearth of literature examining how members of different groups may experience these social contexts differently, thereby leading to different types of identity development.

In this paper, we expand on the literature on how social context influences gay identity development by examining how the way that members of a group specifically construct their social context influences the ways that they construct their social identities. At the same time, communities of color are constructed as extremely heteronormative.

The Privilege of Being a Gay White Male

Within their own racial and ethnic communities, the men in our study first discuss the differences between themselves and other members of their own racial and ethnic group. Yet, having found this group, they come to see that their expectations of finding a welcoming sexual community failed to be realized. Not only did they frame their experiences as being different from that of gay white men, but also as being similar to those of other gay men of color across racial and ethnic boundaries.

This allowed them to construct a social identity bridging their race and ethnicity, and anchored by their sexuality. It should be kept in mind like most qualitative studies, our study has some limitations. Primarily, Los Angeles is a relatively liberal city with a large and visible gay population and large communities of color.

David Kaufman

Also, Los Angeles is not only racially and ethnically diverse but has highly visible ethnic enclaves such as Koreatown, Chinatown, Thai Town, Little Tokyo, etc. This racial and ethnic segregation may strongly influence the way that gay men of color come to see themselves as racial and ethnic minorities.

Men of color in other parts of the country are likely to develop different gay identities based on the different types of social and cultural dynamics they encounter in their everyday lives. Despite these limitations, the multi-racial and multi-ethnic community of Los Angeles is the ideal site for a study such as ours. Given our findings, it will be important for future studies to examine not only the social context in which identities, gay or otherwise, are constructed but also how the ways that individuals and groups come to frame their social context matters to the ways that identities are collectively constructed.

Chong-suk Han, Middlebury College. Jay P. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Sociol Q. Author manuscript; available in PMC Aug 7. Paul , and Kyung-Hee Choi. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Chong-suk Han, Middlebury College;. Copyright notice. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Sociol Q. Abstract Rather than a defined endpoint that is waiting to be discovered or developed, racial and sexual identities can be considered social identities which are fluid, malleable, and socially created through a social process that defines what it means to be a member of a social group.

West Hollywood is Not That Big on Anything But White People: Constructing “Gay Men of Color”

Alienation From Communities of Color A common theme among gay men of color was their shared belief in the difficulty of being a gay man in their racial and ethnic communities due to what they perceive is an attempt to hide the existence of gays and lesbians due to both structural and cultural factors. For example, one black man said: For example, an Asian man noted that in the Asian community, the expectation of heterosexuality made it difficult to openly proclaim a gay identity: For example, one Latino man had this to say about growing up gay in the Latino community: For example, one black man specifically noted: Similarly, a Latino man shared: As one black man noted: Gay Men of Color and the Need to Preserve Family Ties As Russell Leong has noted, for gay people of color, their families are often the only source of racial affirmation in a largely racist society which makes it more difficult for them to risk losing family support by being openly gay.

One black man stated: One Asian man who indicated that his family was aware of his sexual orientation but he was nonetheless hesitant to be more open about it in public stated that: For example, one Asian man noted that: Similarly, a black man who stated that his family was aware of his sexuality nonetheless also noted: Disillusionment in the Gay Community While initially excited to find other gay men, many of the men in our study noted that the excitement quickly dissipated.

As one gay Asian man stated: For example, one Latino man stated: As one black man shared: As one black man stated: Claiming an Intersectional Identity As Barth noted, comparing the self, or the group to which one belongs, with others leads to individuals emphasizing differences and obscuring similarities.


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For example, as one Latino man stated: For example, an Asian man stated: As one Latino man stated: As one Asian man stated: Some, really -- like guys with, like, dark features The perceived shared experience as racialized minorities in a largely white gay community provided the men with the necessary frame for constructing their life narratives along both race and sexuality. Discussion In recent years, sociological studies of sexual identity has come a long way in examining the ways that social context influences the ways that non-heterosexual identities are constructed Rowe Chicano Men: A Cartography of Homosexual Identity and Behavior.

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Anchor Books; Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity. How Place Shapes Identity: Cities American Journal of Sociology. Life as Narrative. Social Research. Listening to Culture: Constructing Reality from Everyday Talk. New Delhi, Thousand Oaks and London: Sage; Is Sexual Racism Really Racism. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York and London: Grounded Theory: Research, Procedures, Canons, and Evaluative Criteria. Qualitative Sociology. Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: The University of Chicago Legal Forum.

Women, Race and Class. Vintage Books; Journal of Homosexuality. Narratives of the Self. Studies in Social Identity. Praeger; BBC News. Retrieved New America Media. Gay Asian Masculinities and Christian Theologies. Cross currents 61, 4 , Emergence of queer Vietnamese America. Amerasia Journal, 29 1 , — Archived from the original on Gay News Network. Beyond Flesh: Queer Masculinities and Nationalism in Israeli Cinema. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

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Retrieved October 13, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Human Rights Campaign. Black Men's Xchange.