Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


African American gay men-Psychology, African American gay men-Identity, African Americans-Race identity, Sexual orientation, Black, Gay, Identity, Racial identity development, Gay identity development, African American, Same gender loving, Homosexual


This study examined the relationship between racial and sexual orientation identity development among Black gay men. Preliminary research implied that the relationship between these two processes was complex though there was little research that explored it. Fifty-seven Black gay men participated in an anonymous online survey which asked a range of questions about racial and sexual orientation identity as well as the experience of being both Black and gay. Findings indicated that Black gay men experience more internalized homophobia and racism than individuals who are Black or gay but not both. The results also implied that the two developmental processes (racial and orientation) may have had a reciprocal influence upon one another for this sample. In keeping with previous literature, participants experienced a split between the Black and gay parts of themselves and indicated that men do not want to choose between their racial and sexual orientation identities. Respondents reported feeling more positively identified with their Black identity than their gay identity at that same time that they experienced more discrimination related to being Black. Participants also reported that their experience of coping with oppression related to being Black helped to cope with oppression related to being same gender loving.




47 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 38-42)