La Trobe

File(s) under permanent embargo

Reason: Publisher's copyright restrictions - embargo on AAM to be reduced to 12m once fully published

Characteristics and functions of subcultural identities in the lives of gay, bisexual, and queer-identifying men in Australia

Gay, bisexual, and queer-identifying (GBQ) male communities tend to comprise various distinct subcultural identity groups based on shared characteristics and associations, often overlooked in research and practice. This study aimed to develop a greater understanding of GBQ subcultural identities by exploring how they are understood and described by individuals who utilise them. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 gay, bisexual, and queer-identifying men living in Australia and who identified with one or more subcultural identities. Interview transcripts and data underwent thematic analysis. All participants identified with two or more subcultural identities. Results indicated that subcultural identities were understood and characterised through physical traits, gender expression and perceived norms, sexual preferences and sex roles, interests and hobbies, and social interaction dynamics. Important functions of subcultural identities were noted, such as their utility in filtering and regulating social associations and interactions as well as reflecting elements of queer history and culture. Findings highlight some key characteristics that define subcultural identities and the functions they serve for GBQ men. This knowledge furthers understanding of GBQ subcultural identities and may assist in developing culturally-relevant approaches to future research and practice in areas such as health promotion and service delivery.


Publication Date



Psychology and Sexuality


15p. (p. 1-15)





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