Intersecting identities of age, gender and sexual orientation in gay and bisexual men’s narratives of prostate cancer
Using the lens of intersectional theory, this analysis interrogates gay and bisexual men’s experiences of prostate cancer. Drawing on McCall’s third typology of intra-categorical intersectionality, the chapter explores how the intersections of age, gender and sexual orientation may impact on the lives of gay and bisexual men and influence their lived reality of prostate cancer. Utilising thematic analysis, three themes emerged: Gay and bisexual men’s embodied sense of self; Managing the emotional roller-coaster of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment; and Intimate and sexual relationships following prostate cancer. Intersectional approaches pay attention to ‘privilege and penalty’ (Bowleg, 2013) in the lives of GB men with prostate cancer. These data allow us to understand men’s strategies of resistance in coping with adversity. They are not privileged by heterosexual gender relations, but their narratives here suggest they draw on discourses of hegemonic masculinity in contingent and temporal ways. The interaction of their multiple identities suggests that they ‘do gender’ (Butler, 1990) in subtly different ways; in the absence of heterosexual gender relations wherein women perform the role of maintaining heterosexual men’s health. GB men do not merely occupy the spaces left by hegemonic masculinity, but when they deploy hegemonic masculinity they do it differently to heterosexual men.
Citation : Fish, J. (2019) Intersecting identities of age, gender and sexual orientation in gay and bisexual men’s narratives of prostate cancer (Chapter 14). In King, A., Jones, R., and Almack, K. (Eds.) Intersections of Ageing, Gender and Sexualities, Bristol: Policy Press.
Research Group : Centre for LGBTQ Research
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes