Constellations of meaning and emotion: Gay, bisexual, and queer men’s experiences of holding hands in public

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-14
Identifier: 
etd20789
Keywords: 
Holding hands
Public displays of affection
Gay, bisexual, and queer men
Counselling
Narrative inquiry
Emotion-Focused Therapy
Abstract: 

There is a scarcity of literature examining gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) men’s experiences of public displays of affection. An interview protocol informed by Emotion-Focused Therapy was used alongside narrative inquiry to conduct semi-structured interviews with 10 GBQ men about their experiences of holding hands with other men in public. Specifically, this research endeavoured to understand how GBQ men made meaning of their hand-holding experiences and how emotion was woven into these narratives. Analysis revealed that the GBQ men in this study made meaning of their hand-holding by comparing their experiences to dominant cultural meanings about hand-holding and GBQ identity. In particular, those whose experiences least matched dominant cultural meanings shared stories which were suffused with the most detail and emotionality. Counselling implications include the possible benefit of psychoeducation about emotions, helping couples increase mutuality, and exploring the effects of heterosexism in individuals’ and couples’ lives.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Sharalyn Jordan
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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