Publication Details

Gorman-Murray, A. W. (2006). Gay and lesbian identity work at home. Sociology for a mobile world: TASA 2006 Annual Conference of the Australian (pp. 1-10). Perth: TASA.


Geographical and sociological literature on gay/lesbian experiences of domestic environments has drawn attention to the heteronormativity of homes, focusing on how these sites often marginalise and silence gay/lesbian identities. While not denying these arguments, I suggest that many gay men and lesbians have also used domestic spaces to resist heteronormative socialisation and affirm gay/lesbian identities. In this paper I explore some of these affirmative uses. Drawing on 37 in-depth interviews with gay/lesbian Australians, I examine two key ways that some gay men and lesbians have used homes to consolidate their sexual identities: (i) the role played by domestic spaces in the coming out process; and (ii) the importance of home-based social(ising) activities for generating gay/lesbian friendship networks.