Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 81–92 | Cite as

All the Gays are White and all the Blacks are Straight: Black Gay Men, Identity, and Community



The research on which this study reports was informed by the following questions: Do Black gay men identify more closely with a racial identity or with a sexual identity? What experiences influence the saliency of a racial or sexual identity for Black gay men? How do Black gay men use daily interactions to inform a sense of self? Essentially, how do Black gay men negotiate stigmatized identities? Based on 50 in-depth interviews with self-identified Black gay men, the author highlights three emergent models of identity negotiations: interlocking identities, up–down identities, and public–private identities. Identifying the strategies Black gay men use to understand both themselves and the larger Black and gay communities helps illuminate the diversity within those communities and highlights the ways in which individuals who find themselves at the intersections of racial and sexual stigma understand themselves and the larger communities to which they belong.


Race Sexuality Self-identity Stigma Identity negotiation Sexual identity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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