Lesbian and gay youth and the question of labels

Edmund Coleman-Fountain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of non-heterosexual youth show a resistance to sexual labels. The term post-gay has been used to describe an identity undefined by labels, and is presented as evidence of a new sexual fluidity. Drawing on qualitative interviews with self-identified lesbian and gay youth from the north east of England, this article provides a different account of the use of labels. Instead of evidencing the rejection of labels, it shows how lesbian and gay young people use labels but question their meaning, adopting some meanings and resisting others. Questioning labels reflects the negotiation of boundaries of difference, as young people look beyond sexuality to build identities as ‘ordinary’ people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-817
Number of pages16
Issue number7
Early online date12 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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