JOURNAL ARTICLE

Lesbian disclosure: disrupting the taken for granted

Carol McDonald
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 2006, 38 (1): 42-57
16671280
The purpose of this interpretive inquiry was to generate understandings about the experience of lesbian disclosure. The inquiry relied on Gadamerian hermeneutic and feminist philosophical thought and was situated in women's health. In a feminist understanding of women's health, experiences of health are inseparable from the everyday experiences of an embodied life and are constituted within each woman's social, material, and discursive realities. The study was informed by conversations with 15 women who self-identified as lesbian for the purpose of the inquiry, accounts of women in the media, and the researcher's reflective journals. The findings move us towards new understandings about the multiple meanings of "lesbian." They challenge nurses to consider the binary categories of homosexual and heterosexual as inadequate signifiers for the reality of women's lives, to consider the particular arrangements of each woman's life, and to disrupt assumptions of heterosexism in order to reduce the negative impact of social exclusion, isolation, discrimination, and stigmatization as social determinants of health.

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