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Clinical Social Work Journal

, 37:357 | Cite as

If I Am Not Straight or Gay, Who Am I?

  • Anbjørg OhnstadEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Women that are violating heterosexual norms for sexual desire will run into issues about identity. This study explores ways of dealing with sexual identities that seems to provide a workable solution for women when they navigate and negotiate their lives as lesbians in a society dominated by heterosexual norms. The data sources are therapeutic conversations and followed-up interviews with ten women. The stories told by these women fail to fit the phases and the categorizations of the traditional coming out model. In handling dilemmas, ambiguity seems to be a resource to them. Their efforts and solutions are more in accordance with queer theory, when they navigate between dichotomies of homosexual/heterosexual, feminine/masculine, normality/deviance and personal responsibility/coincidence.

Keywords

Lesbian Queer Identity Therapy Ambiguity Navigating 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author thanks the women who have participated in the study. Oslo University College has supported my work the research project, and my thesis counselors have contributed with their time for discussions and helpful comments. Thanks to Professor Hanne Haavind at Department of Psychology, University of Oslo; Professor Liv Mette Gulbrandsen, MSW program of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo University College, and Professor Kirsti Malterud, Research Unit for General Practice Bergen, Unifob Health (affiliated with the University of Bergen). Professor Michael Seltzer, Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo University College also deserves thanks for editorial help.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Welfare Research CentreOslo University CollegeOsloNorway

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