Indigenous and Intersecting: People of African Descent in LGBT Psychology

  • Michele K. LewisEmail author
  • Isiah Marshall


A number of psychologists have stated that in order for psychology to become increasingly multicultural and inclusive, the research and theory that drives the research must incorporate more diverse populations; this must happen before it can be said that the findings of psychological research universally apply to multiple populations (Lawson, Baker, & Graham, 2006; Allwood & Berry, 2006). The focus of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) psychologies is no exception to this requirement. LGBT psychology has been described as a perspective that aims to support social change, as it focuses on increasing the visibility, validation, and acknowledgement of research, theory, and practice on LGBT concerns across the discipline of psychology (Clarke & Peel, 2007). Unfortunately however, since a seminal psychological study of gay men (Hooker, 1957), the findings of the research have thus far been primarily based on white participants. Also, as research is being increasingly done to include transgender persons, this research, too, has overwhelmingly sampled white transgender persons (Sánchez & Vilain, 2009; Veale, Clarke, & Lomax, 2008).


Sexual Minority Sexual Identity Black Community African Descent Indigenous Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ajen, N. (2001). West African homoeroticism: West African men who have sex with men. In S. O. Murray & W. Roscoe (Eds.), Boy-wives and female-husbands: Studies in African homosexualities (pp. 129–138). New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  2. Akbar, N. (2003). Akbar papers in African psychology (pp. 155–193). Tallahassee: Mind Productions & Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Allwood, C. M. (2002). Indigenized psychologies. Social Epistemology, 16(4), 349–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allwood, C. M., & Berry, J. W. (2006). Origins and development of indigenous psychologies: An international analysis. International Journal of Psychology, 41(4), 243–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 27–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Anderson, E., & McCormack, M. (2010). Comparing the Black and gay male athlete: Patterns in American oppression. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 18(2), 145–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Asante, M. K. (1988). Afrocentricity. Trenton: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  8. Battle, J., Cohen, C., Warren, D., Fergerson, G., & Audam, S. (2002). Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud; Black Pride Survey 2000. New York: The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.Google Scholar
  9. Bergman, S. M., McIntyre, M. D., & James, L. R. (2004). Identifying the aggressive personality. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 4(3/4), 81–93.Google Scholar
  10. Bowleg, L. (2008). When black + lesbian + woman does not equal black lesbian woman: The methodo­logical challenges of qualitative and quantitative intersectionality research. Sex Roles, 59(5/6), 312–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buck, C. (2005). Alain locke: Faith and philosophy (studies in the Babi and Baha’i religions). Los Angeles: Kalimat Press.Google Scholar
  13. Cannick, J. A. (2008, February). 2008 Pan African Film and Arts Festival continues excellence in diversity by showcasing LGBT films. Lesbian News Magazine, 33, 22.Google Scholar
  14. Cass, V. (1984). Homosexual identity formation: Testing a theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 20(2), 143–167.Google Scholar
  15. Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 4(3), 219–235.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clarke, V., & Peel, E. (2007). Out in psychology: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer perspectives. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Cole, E. R. (2009). Intersectionality and research in psychology. American Psychologist, 64(3), 170–180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cole, J. B., & Guy-Sheftall, B. (2003). Gender talk: The struggle for women’s equality in African American communities (pp. 154–181). New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  19. Collins, J. (1992). Matters of fact: Establishing a gay and lesbian studies department. In H. L. Minton (Ed.), Gay and lesbian studies (pp. 109–124). New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  20. Cross, W. E. (1971). The Negro-to-black conversion experience: Towards a psychology of Black liberation. Black World, 20(9), 13–27.Google Scholar
  21. Cuadraz, G. H., & Uttal, L. (1999). Intersectionality and in-depth interviews: Methodological strategies for analyzing race, class, and gender. Race, Gender, & Class, 6(3), 156–186.Google Scholar
  22. Degges-White, S., Rice, B., & Myers, J. E. (2000). Revisiting Cass’ theory of sexual identity formation: A study of lesbian development. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 22(4), 318–333.Google Scholar
  23. Democracy Now (2004). Ignoring AIDS: The Regan years. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from
  24. Dubois, W. E. B. (1936). Black reconstruction in America, 1860–1880. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  25. Duyvendak, N. W. (1996). The depoliticization of Dutch gay identity, or why Dutch gays aren’t queer. In S. Seidman (Ed.), Queer theory sociology (pp. 421–438). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  26. Ellerson, B. (2005). Visualizing homosexualities in Africa – Dakan: An interview with filmmaker Mohamed Camara. In L. Ouzgane & R. Morrell (Eds.), African masculinities: Men in Africa from the late 19th century to the present (pp. 61–74). New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  27. Escoffier, J. (1992). Generations and paradigms: Mainstreams in gay and lesbian studies. In H. L. Minton (Ed.), Gay and lesbian studies (pp. 109–124). New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  28. Frable, D. E. S. (1997). Gender, racial, ethnic, sexual and class identities. Annual Review of Psychology, 48(1), 139–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Frasure, L. A., & Williams, L. F. (2009). Racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in political participation and civic engagement. In B. T. Dill & R. E. Zambrana (Eds.), Emerging intersections: Race, class, and gender in theory, policy, and practice (pp. 203–228). New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Fullwood, S. G., & Lyons, L. D. (2005, May/June). Fight my battles. Gay pride month special, June 2005: Books to tackle life’s legal complications in the Black LGBT community. Black Issues Book Review, 7(3), 58.Google Scholar
  31. Graham, L. F., Braithwaite, K., Spikes, P., Stephens, C. F., & Edu, U. F. (2009). Exploring the mental health of black men who have sex with men. Journal of Community Mental Health, 45(4), 272–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Greene, B. (2000a). African American lesbian and bisexual women. Journal of Social Issues, 56(2), 239–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Greene, B. (2000b). African American lesbian and bisexual women in feminist-psychodynamic psychotherapy: Surviving and thriving between a rock and a hard place. In L. Jackson & B. Greene (Eds.), Psychotherapy with African American women: Innovations in psychodynamic perspectives and practice (pp. 82–125). New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
  34. Greene, B. (2003). Beyond heterosexism and across the cultural divide: Developing an inclusive lesbian, gay, and bisexual psychology - A look to the future. In L. D. Garnets & D. C. Kimmel (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual experiences (2nd ed., pp. 357–400). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Hays, P. A. (1996). Addressing the complexities of culture and gender in counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 74, 332–338Google Scholar
  36. Hooker, E. (1957). The adjustment of the male overt homosexual. Journal of Projective Techniques, 21, 18–31. Retrieved April 4, 2009, from Google Scholar
  37. Icard, L. (1986). Black gay men and conflicting social identities: Sexual orientation versus racial identity. In J. Gripton & M. Valentich (Eds.) [Special issue of the Journal of Social Work & Human Sexuality, 4(1/2)], Social work practice in sexual problems (pp. 83–93). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
  38. Janes, S., St Lawerence, J., St Lawerence, J. B., & Aranda-Naranjo, B. (2005). Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. In K. S. Lundy & S. Janes (Eds.), Community health nursing caring for the public’s health (pp. 436–463). Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.Google Scholar
  39. Jordan, J. (1989). Moving towards home: Political essays. London: Virago Press.Google Scholar
  40. Kim, U., & Berry, J. W. (1993). Indigenous Psychologies: Research and experience in cultural context. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  41. Kim, U., Park, Y. S., & Park, D. (2000). The challenge of cross-cultural psychology: The role of the indigenous psychologies. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31(1), 63–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kohler, W. (1959). Gestalt psychology today. American Psychologist, 14, 727–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lawson, R. B., Graham, J. E., & Baker, J. E. (2006). A history of psychology: Globalization, ideas, and applications. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  44. Levitt, H. M., Ovrebo, E., Anderson-Cleveland, M. B., Leone, C., Jeong, J. Y., Arm, J. R., et al. (2009). Balancing Dangers: GLBT experience in a time of anti-GLBT legislation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lewis, G. B. (2003). Black-white differences in attitudes toward homosexuality and gay rights. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67(1), 59–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Loiacano, D. K. (1989). Gay identity issues among black americans: Racism, homophobia, and the need for validation. Journal of Counseling and Development, 68, 21–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Marszalek, J. F., & Cashwell, C. S. (1999). The gay and lesbian affirmative development (GLAD) model: Applying Ivey’s developmental counseling therapy model to Cass’ gay and lesbian identity development model. Adultspan Journal, 1, 13–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Martinez, D. G., & Sullivan, S. C. (1998). African American gay men and lesbians: Examining the complexity of gay identity development. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 1(2/3), 243–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mays, V. M., Cochran, S. D., & Zamudio, A. (2004). HIV Prevention Research: Are we meeting the needs of African American men who sleep with men? Journal of Black Psychology, 30(1), 78–105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McCarn, S. R., & Fassinger, R. E. (1996). Revisioning sexual minority identity formation: A new model of lesbian identity and its implications for counseling and research. The Counseling Psychologist, 24(3), 508–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McIntosh, P. (1989, July/August). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible Knapsack. Peace and Freedom, 10–12. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from
  52. Meyer, I. H., & Wilson, P. A. (2009). Sampling lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 23–31.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Moore, M. R. (2006). Lipstick or timberlands? Meanings of gender presentation in black lesbian communities. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 32(1), 113–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Murray, S. O. (2001). A Feeling Within Me: Kamau, a twenty five year old Kikuyu. In S. O. Murray & W. Roscoe (Eds.), Boy Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African homosexualities (pp. 41–62). New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Murray, S. O., & Roscoe, W. (Eds.). (2001). Boy-wives and female-husbands: Studies in African homosexualities. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  56. Nobles, W. W. (1973). Psychological research and the black self-concept: A critical review. Journal of Social Issues, 29(1), 11–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Parks, C. A., Hughes, T. L., & Matthews, A. K. (2004). Race/Ethnicity and sexual orientation: Intersecting identities. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 10(3), 241–254.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Perry, E. A. (2007, February 7). Gay club rejected again by VA school. The Washington Blade. Retrieved May 19, 2009, from
  59. Purdue-Vaughns, V., & Eibach, R. P. (2008). Intersectional invisibility: The distinctive advantages and disadvantages of multiple subordinate-group identities. Sex Roles, 59(5/6), 377–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Riggs, D. W. (2007). Recognizing race in LGBTQ psychology: Power, privilege and complicity. In V. Clarke & E. Peele (Eds.), Out in psychology: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer perspectives (pp. 59–76). West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  61. Rosario, M., Schimshaw, E. W., & Hunter, J. (2004). Ethnic/racial differences in the coming-out process of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: A comparison of sexual identity development over time. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 10(3), 215–228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sánchez, F. J., & Vilain, E. (2009). Collective self-esteem as a coping resource for male-to-female transsexuals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 202–209.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Savage, T. A., & Harley, D. A. (2005). African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. In D. A. Harley & J. M. Dillard (Eds.), Contemporary mental health issues among African Americans (pp. 91–105). Alexandria: American Counseling Association.Google Scholar
  64. Shams, M., & Hwang, K. K. (2005). Special issue on responses to the epistemological challenges to indigenous psychologies. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 8(1), 3–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Smith, J. (2000, April). Tsitsi Tiripana: Fighting for lesbian and gay rights in Zimbabwe. Off Our Backs, 30, 1–3.Google Scholar
  66. Summers, M. S. (2002). This immoral practice: The prehistory of homophobia in black nationalist thought. In T. Lester (Ed.), Gender nonconformity, race, and sexuality (pp. 21–43). Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  67. Szymanski, D. M., & Gupta, A. (2009). Examining the relationship between multiple internalized oppressions and African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning persons’ self-esteem and psychological distress. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 110–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Twine, F. W., & Gallagher, C. (2008). The future of whiteness: A map of the ‘third wave. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31(1), Special issue: Whiteness and White identities, 4–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Veale, J. F., Clarke, D. E., & Lomax, T. C. (2008). Sexuality of male-to-female transsexuals. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(4), 586–597.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Walcott, R. (2005). Outside in Black studies: Reading from a queer place in the Diaspora. In E. P. Johnson & M. G. Henderson (Eds.), Black queer studies: A critical anthology (pp. 90–105). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Warner, L. R. (2008). A best practices guide to intersectional approaches in psychological research. Sex Roles, 59(5/6), 454–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Watkins, W. H. (2001). The white architects of Black education: Ideology and power in America, 1865–1954. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  73. Welsing, F. C. (1991). The Isis Papers: The keys to the colors. Chicago, Ill: Third World Press.Google Scholar
  74. Wright, K., & Patterson-Gaston, M. (2009). Making change real: The state of AIDS in Black America 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from
  75. Yoshino, K. (2007). Covering: The hidden assault on our civil rights. New York: Random House.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social WorkWinston-Salem State UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

Personalised recommendations