Date of Award

Spring 5-1-1997

Document Type



The Deaf Gay community is unique in that individuals who affiliate themselves with members of this community maintain dual identities – Deaf identity and Gay identity. Since there is a lack of formal research on this phenomenon, this pilot study was formulated as a way to take a preliminary look at the relationship between Deaf identity and Gay identity, and the factors contributing to the development of each. A sample of 21 subjects completed a survey which asked questions about the individual’s Deaf identity development, “coming out” process, Gay identity development, and affiliation with the Deaf Gay community. Non-parametric statistical analysis revealed two variables which seemed to be related to the Deaf Gay individual’s “coming out” to himself at an earlier age: the presence of a Deaf role model and affiliation with the Deaf community. Quantitative data was also summarized through examples of response to open-ended questions regarding perceptions of one’s affiliation with both the Deaf and Gay communities. Due to the small sample, no statistical significance was found for the other factors that were thought to impact Deaf Gay identity development. This project is small in scope and further research on Deaf Gay identity development is needed.



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