Perceptions of ‘coming out’ among British Muslim gay men
The cultural processes of heteronormativity and compulsory heterosexuality are acutely active within Islamic societies. The present study explored perceptions of ‘coming out’ among a group of British Muslim gay men (BMGM), focussing upon the potential con- sequences for identity processes and psychological well-being. Ten BMGM of Pakistani descent were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Interview tran- scripts were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis and informed by identity process theory. Four superordinate themes are reported, including (1) ‘social representational constraints upon “coming out”’; (2) ‘ “coming out”: a source of shame and a threat to distinctiveness’; (3) ‘fear of physical violence from ingroup members’; and (4) ‘foreseeing the future: “coming out” as a coping strategy’. Data suggest that BMGM face a bi-dimensional homophobia from ethno-religious ingroup members and the general population, which can render the prospect of ‘coming out’ threatening for identity. Theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed.
Citation : Jaspal, R. and Siraj, A. (2011) Perceptions of ‘coming out’ among British Muslim gay men. Psychology and Sexuality, 2 (3), pp. 183-197
ISSN : 1941-9899
Research Institute : Media Discourse Centre (MDC)