Publication details [#3758]

Crosby, Tracy E. 2007. Marginalized identities and multiple oppressions: GLBTQ people of color negotiating everyday life. Boulder, Colo.. 236 pp.
Publication type
Ph.D dissertation
Publication language


Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people of color experience multiple forms of marginalization and oppression in the United States. I examine how intersections of multiple oppressions by race and sexual orientation affect identity negotiation and management among 19 GLBTQ people of color. This qualitative study of identity is based on in-depth, face-to-face interviews and grounded theory methodology. Two main findings emerged from these interviews: the primary foundations of identity negotiation and management, and a descriptive typology of the modes of organizing and managing multiple marginalized identities. The foundations---belonging, support and safety---are the external social factors that underlie, motivate, and affect identity management and negotiation. While these foundations overlap and reinforce each other, safety is the overwhelming and ongoing concern. Respondents also revealed three organizational modes by which they manage and negotiate their multiple marginalized identities: compartmentalization, adaptation and integration. The processes and complexities of each mode were illustrated by respondents through a variety of metaphors. In addition to the foundations and modes, I examine three predominant themes in the daily experiences of identity negotiation and management: agency, integrity, and liminality. These themes offer insight into the everyday effects of multiple forms of marginalization and the possibilities for innovative forms of identification. Finally, I evaluate theories of the self and identity from Sociology, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Third World Feminisms. While existing theories address fundamental components of self and identity, none fully address the complexities of identity among people who are faced with multiple forms of marginalization and oppression. The framework of foundations and modes offers vital elements of a substantive theory of identity among GLBTQ people of color that can be used toward further analysis of multiple marginalized identities. The findings from this research can increase understandings of divisions across social boundaries of race and sexual orientation. They can be applied to enhance community outreach, develop services for GLBTQ people of color, and improve relations within and among marginalized communities. (Dissertation Abstracts)