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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: June 2012

4 - Diversity

from Section II - Understanding social marginalisation in LGBTQ lives



• Understanding diversity in LGBTQ communities

• Gender

• Bisexuality

• Trans and queer

• Social class

• Race

• Organised religion and spirituality

• Rural life

• Ability

Understanding diversity in LGBTQ communities

In this chapter we focus on the wide diversity that exists within LGBTQ communities, and the many different identities that LGBTQ people have. The chapter serves as a bridge between the opening three chapters, that together provide an overview of the field of LGBTQ psychology and its key theoretical, conceptual and methodological concerns, and the rest of the book, which focuses on key topics in LGBTQ psychology.

Focusing on the diversity of LGBTQ communities is important because it allows us to understand the limitations of applying one particular model of psychological research and practice across a range of groups of people. Although we primarily draw on research conducted with white, middle-class lesbians and gay men in this book, we are mindful of the fact that the experiences of this group do not represent the experiences of all LGBTQ people. Furthermore, it is not accurate to say that lesbians and gay men together form a coherent or unified group. In this chapter we highlight the breadth of experiences of LGBTQ people, drawing on the limited psychological research that is available, as well as on work from other academic disciplines and areas of research such as sociology, feminism and queer theory.

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Further reading
Appleby, Y. (1994) Out on the margins. Disability and Society, 9(1), 19–32.
Barker, M., Bowes-Catton, H., Iantaffi, A., Cassidy, A. and Brewer, L. (2008) British bisexuality: a snapshot of bisexual identities in the UK. Journal of Bisexuality, 8(1/2), 141–62.
Devor, H. (1993) Sexual orientation identities, attractions, and practices of female-to-male transsexuals. Journal of Sex Research, 30(6), 303–15.
Han, A. (2006) ‘I think you're the smartest race I've ever met’: racialised economies of queer male desire. ACRAWSA e-journal, 2(2). Available at:
Taylor, Y. (2008) ‘That's not really my scene’: working-class lesbians in (and out of) place. Sexualities, 11(5), 523–46.