Challenges to identity integration amongst sexual minority British Muslim South Asian men

Karim Mitha, Sheila Ali, Yasin Koc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Since the Stonewall uprisings there has been greater social acceptance of homosexuality within Western contexts. Nevertheless, those who are at the intersection of more than one minority identity continue to face prejudice and discrimination, including homophobia and racism. Though there has been increasing work regarding the experiences of sexual minority people of colour, a lacuna remains regarding the experiences of sexual minority British Muslim South Asian men and the integration of sexual minority and religious identities, particularly within a context of increased societal acceptance towards sexual minorities and societal Islamophobia. In this study, 38 sexual minority British Muslim South Asian men were interviewed, recruited via snowball sampling. Data were examined via reflexive thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: degrees of “outness”, hegemonic ‘whiteness’ and the LGBTQ+ community, internalisation of white hegemony, distancing from the sexual minority religio-cultural ingroup, and attempting to reconcile potential identity conflict between sexual orientation identity and religious and cultural identities. Respondents' experiences highlighted substantial social exclusion due to intersectional disadvantage as well as a lack of intra-community social support, suggesting substantial isolation, psychological implications, and a general eschewing of identity affiliation based on sexual attraction. This has implications on services predicated on identity affiliation which may potentially exclude the needs of hidden and intersectionally disadvantaged populations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Early online date7 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2021

Keywords

  • identity threat
  • intergroup relations
  • intersectionality
  • Muslims
  • whiteness

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