Sexual Minority Women's Gender Identity and Expression: Challenges and Supports

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Sexual minority women were divided into four groups to study their gender identities (butch and femme), and genderexpression (traditionally gendered and non-traditionally gendered women who do not identify as butch or femme). Experiences of heterosexist events (discrimination, harassment, threats of violence, victimization, negative emotions associated with these events), mental health (self esteem, stress, depression), and supports for a sexual minority identity(social support, outness, internalized homophobia) were examined across these groups. Findings suggested that butch-identified women experienced more heterosexist events than femme women or women with non-traditional genderexpressions. There were no differences in mental health variables.


Journal of Lesbian Studies