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"I'm not proud, I'm just gay": lesbian and gay youths' discursive negotiation of otherness

Jones, Lucy

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This article outlines the shared identity construction of five gay and lesbian members of an LGBT youth group, situated in a conservative, working-class, Northern English town. It is shown that the young people’s identity work emerges in response to the homophobia and ‘othering’ they have experienced from those in their local community. Through ethnography and discourse analysis, and using theoretical frameworks from interactional sociolinguistics, the strategies that the young people employ to negotiate this othering are explored; they reject certain stereotypes of queer culture (such as Gay Pride or being ‘camp’), and aim to minimise the relevance of their sexuality to their social identity. It is argued this reflects both the influence of neoliberal, ‘homonormative’ ideology, which casts sexuality in the private rather than public domain, and the stigma their sexuality holds in their local community. These findings point to the need to understand identity construction intersectionally.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 10, 2018
Publication Date Feb 1, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 11, 2020
Journal Journal of Sociolinguistics
Print ISSN 1360-6441
Electronic ISSN 1467-9841
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Pages 55-76
Keywords Othering; Identity; LGBT youth; Homonormativity; Homophobia;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Jones, L. (2018), ‘I'm not proud, I'm just gay’: Lesbian and gay youths' discursive negotiation of otherness. J Sociolinguistics. doi:10.1111/josl.12271, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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