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Disabling sexualities : an exploratory multiple case study of self-identified gay and bisexual men with developmental disabilities Thompson, Scott Anthony

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory investigation was to investigate how self-identified gay or bisexual (GB) men with developmental disabilities managed their complex identities. Through various profiling strategies and snowball sampling techniques, seven such GB men volunteered. These key participants resided over a wide geographical area, from the coastal US to the southern part of British Columbia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each person, three of whom identified a caregiver as being a particularly important part of his "coming-out" process. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with these supporting participants, as well as a few other relevant professionals. Key participants' life stories were framed within several theories: namely; Goffman's (1963) stigma, Lave and Wengers' (1991) legitimate peripheral participation, disability theory, queer theory and Smith's (1987) institutional ethnography. Similarly, the supporting professionals' responses were analyzed. The results present rich kaleidoscopic narrative descriptions, and provide many implications for special education practice and queer activism.

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