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31-Jan-2016 01:23

Most North American studies have examined large-city gay communities (e.g., New York, San Francisco, Toronto) that experienced familiar sets of transitions: formation of same-sex-attracted communities following influxes of single men and women after World War II (Duberman, 1986), subsequent in-migration of young, rurally situated gay men and lesbians (Weston, 1995), and solidification of geographic visibility in the form of urban gay villages (Nash, 2006).Understandings of the gay experience in Canada tend to follow this imagined linear trajectory, ending with the successful attainment of equal rights (e.g., same-sex marriage in Canada since 2005, adoption by same-sex couples in Ontario since 1995) through lobbies and federal court cases (Smith, 2005; Weeks, 2007; Smith, 2008).This approach offers several advantages over measuring.First, measuring perceived acceptance is a more meaningful indicator of the inclusivity of gay and mainstream communities than simple attachment (i.e., participation).Using interviews (n = 20) and a survey (n = 202) of gay and bisexual men in a mid-sized Canadian city, we find perceived hierarchies of acceptance for the various subgroups as well as an age effect wherein middle-aged men perceive the least acceptance for all groups.These differences are linked with the uneven impact of social, political, and institutional changes relevant to gay and bisexual men in Canada. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted.

This mixed-methods study (Yin, 2003) seeks to more accurately identify perceptions of acceptance for various age-, race-, and sexual identity-based segments of the population within the gay and mainstream communities at a pivotal time in the evolution of both urban gay communities and mainstream societal attitudes.Both concepts mask contingencies in how individuals relate to others with presumably shared characteristics, or come to feel included or marginalized within identity-based groups and society at large (Howarth, 2001; Dowsett et al., 2001; Rowe & Dowsett, 2008; Holt, 2011).



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