Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This qualitative study examines how race and racism function in gay communities, looking at factors facing African American gay men in their identity formation and daily experience. Specifically, this study has examined the presence of sexual racism, sexualized racial stereotypes that affect the way men of color are viewed by white gay men. Twelve self-identified African American gay men living in the Boston metropolitan area were recruited by word-of-mouth and snowball sampling. Drawing on existing areas of research, each participant was administered a demographic survey and interviewed about his experiences within predominately white middle-class mainstream gay communities. African American gay men, often considered to be cultural outlaws by both Gay and African American communities, are subjected to sexual and traditional racism, and may be made to feel ignored or excluded from mainstream Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community events and spaces. In addition to stating their challenges, the study attempts to highlight these men's strength and resiliency. With little previously existing qualitative data from gay men of color, this study provides a foundation for future research, building a knowledge base on this marginalized population, increasing cultural competence to promote more effective outreach to and inclusion of a diverse client base in clinical services and health care, and raising questions about the ways race is constructed and used in a variety of contexts.


iv, 95 : ill. Rev. ed. Dec. 2008. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-86).