This study examined public heterosexual identity management practices of heterosexual-identified young adults in the United States. Analysis of 415 participants’ written narratives indicated that 41% (n = 169) described consciously engaging in public displays of their heterosexual status in relation to suspicion about their sexual orientation. This article describes our findings regarding five aspects of these narratives of suspicion: types of suspicion, causes of suspicion, reasons for concern about suspicion, the types of public displays of heterosexual status employed to quell suspicion, and intended audiences for these displays. Overall, the results indicated that heterosexual identity suspicion is multifaceted, this suspicion serves as a catalyst for public displays of heterosexual status, and the climate of suspicion described by our participants reflects and reinforces contemporary heterosexism.
Journal of Homosexuality
Women's & Gender Studies
Davis, Coralynn V.. "When Heterosexual Identity is Questioned: Stifling Suspicion Through Public Displays of Heterosexual Identity." Journal of Homosexuality (2018) : 1683-1708.