LGBTQ relationships and experiences of shame, pride and protest in everyday spaces
Join the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship for an insightful seminar on LGBTQ relationships and experiences of shame, pride and protest in everyday spaces.
Róisín Ryan-Flood is a senior lecturer in Sociology and director of the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship (CISC) at the University of Essex. Her research interests are gender, sexuality, kinship, the digital realm, and feminist epistemology. She is the author of Lesbian Motherhood: Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship (Palgrave, 2009), and co-editor of Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process (Routledge, 2010) and Transnationalising Reproduction (Routledge, 2018). She is also co-editor of the journal Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society (Sage).
Poul Rohleder is a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex. His research interests are on sexuality, diversity and mental health. He has published widely in these areas. He is Associate Editor of the journal Psychology and Sexuality.
Many LGBTQ individuals grow up with a sense of being ‘other’ in a heteronormative society. This is not just an internal psychological experience, as many LGBTQ individuals report being recipients of hostility, victimisation and harassment. Interpersonally, homophobia and transphobia (both actual and fear of) may play out between partners and inhibit partners from commonplace displays of affection (e.g. holding hands in public).
Holding hands in public, a taken-for-granted act of interpersonal affection for many heterosexual couples, may carry particular anxieties and/or significance for LGBTQ partners. Holding hands may be experienced with feelings of anxiety, shame and fear, or, conversely, may be regarded as a significant and meaningful act of pride and/or resistance. To explore participants’ personal experiences of this, the project is utilising a participatory, creative research approach.
The project involves the following components: Study participants are invited to produce images (e.g. photographs or drawings) that symbolise and represent their experiences, and to use these images as a point of discussion in individual interviews. Further data is also being collected by inviting participants to conduct audio-recorded friendship conversations with a close friend about this topic. This seminar will present some preliminary findings from this research, which is funded by the British Academy.