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The confluence of us: Creative-relational (love) making of gay men's identities

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    Rights statement: © 2020 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press’s Reprints and Permissions web page, http://www.ucpress.edu/journals.php?p=reprints. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2020.9.2.103

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalDepartures in Critical Qualitative Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


This essay explores gay men's identities as processes of creative-relational construction of the self. I problematize the common sex-centered conception of being gay as “I am gay because I have sex with men.” Bringing together Paul Ricœur's work on identity as autobiography, Audre Lorde's concept of the erotic as a constructive force, and Derek Greenfield's understanding of relational orientation, in the light of an interview with Manoel, a young gay man from Malta, creative-relational inquiry affords a richer notion of gayness as “I am gay when I am with you” and “I am gay because I love you.”

    Research areas

  • intimacy, creative-relational inquiry, love, gay, identity

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