author={Paula C. Rodr{\'i}guez Rust},
  journal={Gender \& Society},
  pages={50 - 77}
  • P. Rust
  • Published 1 March 1993
  • Sociology
  • Gender & Society
This article examines sexual identity formation among 346 lesbian-identified and 60 bisexual-identified women. On average, bisexuals come out at later ages and exhibit less “stable” identity histories. However, variations in identity history among lesbians and bisexuals overshadow the differences between them and demonstrate that coming out is not a linear, goal-oriented, developmental process. Sexual identity formation must be reconceptualized as a process of describing one's social location… 

Identity formation for lesbian, bisexual, and gay persons: beyond a "minoritizing" view.

In this paper, the concepts of identity and sexual identity are reviewed, and the literature on lesbian and gay "coming out" processes are critiqued.

Bisexual Identities among Women in Germany: A Sociological Approach toward Obstacles and Opportunities

ABSTRACT This study explores social processes that prevent or delay and processes supporting the adoption of a bisexual identity among women who have been engaged in sexual activities with more than

Exploring Identity Development and the Symbolic Meaning/s of ‘Coming Out’ in the Process of Identity Work

Psychological models of gay identity development consider the process of coming out to oneself and others (acknowledging for oneself and telling people of one’s same-sex sexual identity) as pivotal

Looking Toward the InterSEXions

Abstract This paper theorizes how bisexual and transgendered identities are socially constructed through relationships. Traditional models of sexual identity formation have concentrated on the

The Queer Apologetic: Explaining the Use of Bisexuality as a Transitional Identity

This study takes a constructivist grounded theory approach to exploring the trajectory of coming out for 30 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer individuals. Despite being attracted only to members of

“I've Also Lived as a Heterosexual”—Identity Narratives of Formerly Married Middle-Aged Gays and Lesbians in Hungary

Abstract This article examines the sexual identity narratives of middle-age Hungarians who now identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual but were married in an earlier period of their lives. Based on

Conceptualizing lesbian sexual identity development: Narrative accounts of socializing structures and individual decisions and actions

Many theories have aimed to chart lesbian, gay and bisexual identity development. These include traditional developmental models as well as newer approaches designed to capture a more fluid,

Protecting the lesbian border: The tension between individual and communal authenticity

Far from considering sexuality a dichotomous system of classification, with exclusive categories such as heterosexual and homosexual, scholars are paying closer attention to the ways in which

Age Differences in Lesbian1 Identity Development and Drinking

Data from the Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women study provided the opportunity to examine relationships between variables associated with lesbian identity development and alcohol use–related problems in three age cohorts of self-identified lesbians.

'Coming out, again': exploring the lives of women who have changed a lesbian or bisexual identity

It is assumed that once an individual ‘comes out’ as gay, lesbian or bisexual, this identity is permanent. Researchers, however, have challenged understandings of sexualities as fixed and stable as



Coming Out: Similarities and Differences for Lesbians and Gay Men

“Coming out” is the developmental process through which gay people recognize their sexual preferences and choose to integrate this knowledge into their personal and social lives. A number of

Individual differences in the coming out process for gay men: implications for theoretical models.

Overall findings indicated that an orderly developmental sequence underlies the coming out process; however, not all subjects progressed in a predictable fashion from an awareness of same-sex feelings through behavior to eventual self-labelling, self-disclosure, and final stabilization of a positive gay identity.

Identity conflict or adaptive flexibility? Bisexuality reconsidered.

  • G. Zinik
  • Psychology
    Journal of homosexuality
  • 1985
Two opposing models of bisexual functioning are discussed: the "conflict model," which views bisexuality as problematic, stemming from identity conflict and confusion that marks a transitional stage to a homosexual orientation; and the "flexibility model, which viewsisexuality as the coexistence of heteroeroticism and homoerotics, as the successful integration of homosexual and heterosexual identities into a dual sexual orientation.

Bisexuality: reassessing our paradigms of sexuality.

  • J. Paul
  • Psychology, Sociology
    Journal of homosexuality
  • 1985
How categories such as homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual have developed is examined, and their utility as social labels and as scientific constructs are distinguished.

Proposed model of lesbian identity development: an empirical examination.

Descriptive data are presented which seem to suggest that lesbian identity is present prior to the individual's recognition of incongruency between her feelings and those of non-lesbians, and that the process of self-labeling occurs through interaction with thenon-lesbian world.

The Politics of Sexual Identity: Sexual Attraction and Behavior among Lesbian and Bisexual Women*

In the lesbian community, one which based upon a shared sexual minority identity, recent attempts to add the category "bisexual" to the prevailing dichotomous conceptualization of sexuality have led

Therapeutic implications of viewing sexual identity in terms of essentialist and constructionist theories.

  • J. Hart
  • Psychology
    Journal of homosexuality
  • 1984
The article describes the author's clinical attempts to present constructionist views to clients who are in conflict about their sexual orientation and social sex-role and concludes that constructionist therapy has not taken into account clinical evidence that clients may adhere to "essentialist" beliefs.

Going public: a study in the sociology of homosexual liberation.

  • J. Lee
  • Sociology
    Journal of homosexuality
  • 1977
The complete process of resolving and announcing one's sexual orientation as "homosexual" is analyzed into three stages: signification, coming out, and going public. Each stage is further subdivided

Bisexuality: some comments on research and theory.

Though evidence suggests that bisexuals may outnumber homosexuals and that bisexuality is increasing, there is a paucity of research on this group. Further, because researchers have included large

Bisexuality: Some social psychological issues.

This paper presents an overview of our interview study with 156 men and women having a history of more than incidental sexual experience with both men and women. Data from other studies that point to