Queers and Crips: Parallel Identity Development Processes for Persons with Nonvisible Disabilities and Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Persons

  • Elizabeth P. Cramer
  • Stephen F. Gilson


Traditional models of identity development are inadequate when applied to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons and persons with disabilities. The identity development and life experiences of persons with disabilities and LGB persons are similar in many respects including being raised/socialized by persons who are not a part of that group, and being educated to conform to the standards of behavior and appearance of the dominant culture. This article describes and critiques four models of identity development as applied to LGB persons and persons with nonvisible disabilities: stage/linear, issues/milestone experiences, social constructionist, and interactional. The authors propose an interactional identity development model for persons with disabilities and LGB persons that incorporates the significance of bio-psycho-social-cultural contexts, the influence of multiple identities, the fluidity of identity formation, and the importance of language.

identity development disability queer 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth P. Cramer
    • 1
  • Stephen F. Gilson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond

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