Managing Multiple-Minority Identities: African American Men Who Have Sex With Men at Predominately White Universities

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Abstract

This study examined how African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM) manage their multiple-minority identities, including being both racial and sexual minorities at predominately White educational institutions (PWI). Using a phenomenological paradigm, AAMSM college students participated in semistructured interviews. Results suggest that AAMSM at PWIs view race, gender, and religious beliefs as of primary importance, and sexual orientation and social class as less salient aspects of their identities. Further, AAMSM attending PWIs reported experiencing both discrimination and stereotyping based on their race and sexual orientation, and their appraised risk of rejection and acceptance influenced their perception of identity options. AAMSM's construction of their identity influenced their interpersonal associations with the African American, gay, African American and gay, and campus communities at large. Implications for future research and higher education administrators and mental health professionals are discussed.

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