Vol. 22:1 (2012) ► pp.69–85
Crafting sexual authenticity
Women’s accounts of relationships with women and men
In response to the renewed importance of authenticity in contemporary culture, academic studies of authenticity are flourishing. This work contributes to the scholarship of authenticity, by exploring how authenticity is constructed in narratives of sexual identity. This work examines the narratives of 32 women who were once partnered with women and identified as queer, lesbian or bisexual and subsequently became involved with men. Although the women in this study find themselves in a position with few available scripts to make sense of the change to a partner of a different gender, they work to construct their narratives around the central theme of consistency, while grappling with notions of agency. To create authentic sexual identities, they rely on several scripts, taking into account not only what they consider authentic but also what their audience will recognize as such. The women in this study maintain that both their attraction to women and their attraction to men are authentic. Both experiences are presented as connected to some sense of internal consistency.
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