“I Will Fight You Like I’m Straight”: Gay Gang- and Crime-Involved Men’s Participation in Violence

Chapter

Abstract

Despite extensive criminological literature on violence and victimization, the portrait of gay men’s involvement is unclear. Literature exists on gay men as victims of intimate partner violence and anti-gay bias crimes, but there is very little on gay perpetrators of violence. In this chapter, I seek to critically interrogate existing assumptions and address this lack of coverage. I utilize in-depth, semistructured interviews with 53 gay gang- and crime-involved men to discuss their participation in violence under a variety of contexts to provide a descriptive picture of their varied uses of violence. Although their uses of violence are largely consistent with the extant literature, their experiences as gay men are often central to their justifications for violence. I also explore the links between violent victimization and violence perpetration. My data suggest that negative experiences such as neighborhood violence, homophobic bullying in schools, and anti-gay harassment all play roles in respondents’ decisions to utilize violence; however, this violence did not always serve to prevent their future victimization.

Keywords

Gay Gang Violence Crime Homophobic bullying Anti-gay harassment Agency Masculinity Stereotypes Victims Intimate partner violence Interviews 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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