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LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone Resources: Queer Theory & Models

Lesbian and Gay Identity Development Theory - Cass

  1. Identity Confusion: “Could I be gay?”
  2. Identity Comparison: “Maybe this applies to me.”
  3. Identity Tolerance: “I’m not the only one.”
  4. Identity Acceptance: “I will be okay.”
  5. Identity Pride: “I’ve got to let people know who I am.”
  6. Identity Synthesis: “Sexual orientation is one part of my multi-faceted identity.”

D’Augelli Model of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Development

  • D’Augelli (1994) explains lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) identity as influenced by one’s social environment and the support one receives while beginning to conceptualize his/her sexuality
  • Factors that influence sexual orientation identity can include: individual perceptions of identity, which can be formed as a result of sexual behaviors and their interpretation of the feelings resulting from such behaviors; the influence of immediate family, partner relationships and peer groups; and the person’s culture which includes societal norms and laws, organizational policies, and individual, family, peer, and societal values (D’Augelli, 1994; Evans, Forney, Guido, et al., 2010)
  • According to D’Augelli, individuals examine sexual identity over the life span, noting that sexual identity may be at times “very fluid, while at other times it will be more solidified” (Evans, Forney, Guido, et al., 2010, p. 316).

Bilodeau’s Transgender Identity Development

  • Bilodeau (2005) adopted the six processes from D’Augelli’s model of LGB development to describe the development of a transgender identity.
  • This model, based on college students, includes the following processes:
    • exiting a traditionally gendered identity,
    • developing a personal transgender identity,
    • developing a transgender social identity,
    • becoming transgender offspring,
    • developing a transgender intimacy status, and
    • entering a transgender community (Bilodeau, 2005).
  • Similar to D’Augelli, Bilodeau’s model of transgender identity development is a lifespan process, allowing for a multidimensional, fluid understanding for how a person’s identity is influenced by experiences and specific contexts (Bilodeau, 2005).

Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity