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“As a Sort of Blanket Term”: Qualitative Analysis of Queer Sexual Identity Marking

Abstract

Recent research has considered how individuals mark and/or make their sexual identity known to others. Previous research has specifically considered sexuality marking of heterosexual and bisexual individuals. The current study addresses how queer-identified individuals linguistically mark their sexual identity. Participants were 98 self-identified queer adults living within the U.S. recruited online through SurveyMonkey. Preliminary analysis of demographic data revealed that individuals with both monosexual and plurisexual attractions self-identify as queer, with higher rates for the latter. We conducted a thematic analysis of participants’ responses to an open-ended question asking them to describe a setting or situation in which they would choose to use the term queer to self-identify their sexual identity. Four themes emerged related to queer identity marking: (1) Using Queer as an Encompassing Label, (2) Using Queer to Avoid Explanation, (3) Using Queer Based on Who is Present and (4) Avoiding Using Queer. Discussion focuses on the way queer sexual identity marking is both similar to and distinct from other forms of sexuality marking.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We use plurisexual to refer to individuals who have the potential to be attracted to more than one gender (Galupo et al. 2015).

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Correspondence to M. Paz Galupo.

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Kolker, Z.M., Taylor, P.C. & Galupo, M.P. “As a Sort of Blanket Term”: Qualitative Analysis of Queer Sexual Identity Marking. Sexuality & Culture 24, 1337–1357 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-019-09686-4

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Keywords

  • Plurisexual
  • Queer
  • Sexual identity
  • Sexuality
  • Sexuality marking