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On the Horns of a Dilemma: Institutional Dimensions of the Sexual Career in a Sample of Middle-Class, Urban, Black, Gay Men

Adam Isaiah Green
Journal of Black Studies
Vol. 37, No. 5 (May., 2007), pp. 753-774
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40034364
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
On the Horns of a Dilemma: Institutional Dimensions of the Sexual Career in a Sample of Middle-Class, Urban, Black, Gay Men
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Abstract

The author draws from a qualitative study of 30 Black, gay-identified, urban men to capture the intersection of race and sexuality in their life histories. He finds that Black gay men encounter a disruptive, deep-cutting "push" out of local community institutions--including the family and church--but a highly conflicted and ambiguous "pull" into urban gay communities--including the predominantly White, urban, gay institutions of downtown Manhattan. These conditions situate Black gay men on the horns of a dilemma, alienated from Black communities because of their homosexual desires and unevenly integrated into urban gay communities because of their race. Consequently, these men experience protracted struggles over their sexual identities, found it difficult to develop socially supportive gay networks, and experienced problems with psychological adjustment and repair in urban gay communities. The author underscores the importance of capturing the nexus of race and homosexuality through analysis of changing institutional dimensions over the life history.

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