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“Authentically” Effeminate? Bialystok’s Theorization of Authenticity, Gay Male Femmephobia, and Personal Identity

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Title: “Authentically” Effeminate? Bialystok’s Theorization of Authenticity, Gay Male Femmephobia, and Personal Identity
Author: Davies, Adam
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Abstract: Authenticity is a commonly heralded ideal in Western modernist discourses, with a large amount of literature describing individuals’ personal journeys towards self-fulfillment. This paper examines Lauren Bialystok’s (2013) conception of authenticity in sex/gender identity and proposes that effeminate or ‘femme’ gay men make a strong case for fitting within such a conception of authenticity. Effeminate gay men experience significant in-group discrimination within gay men’s communities, with many gay men “defeminizing” (Taywaditep, 2002) themselves upon entering adulthood and mainstream gay communities. Through this exploration of Bialystok’s model for authenticity in gender/sex identity and the identity-based challenges effeminate or ‘femme’ gay men experience, this paper describes why effeminate gay men fit Bialystok’s model, and the ethical dilemmas of theorizing authenticity in personal identity. Providing supportive and positive early environments in school while specifically addressing gender-based discrimination in childhood provides more opportunities for positive identity development and the potential of fulfilling self-authenticity within gender identity for effeminate gay men.
Description: Accepted for publication in the spring 2020 issue of the Canadian Journal of Family and Youth
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16562
Date: 2019-07-24
Rights: Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Terms of Use: All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
Citation: Davies, A.W.J. (in press). “Authentically” Effeminate? Bialystok’s Theorization of Authenticity, Gay Male Femmephobia, and Personal Identity. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth/Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse.


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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International