Open Access Lesbian Disclosure: Disrupting the Taken for Granted La divulgation du lesbianisme : le bousculement des a priori

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Abstract:

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.

French
Le but de cette enquête interprétative est de favoriser la compréhension de l'expérience que vivent les lesbiennes qui divulguent leur orientation sexuelle. L'étude, fondée sur l'herméneutique gadamérienne et la pensée philosophique féministe, s'inscrit au créneau de la santé des femmes. Selon la perspective féministe de la santé des femmes, l'expérience de la santé est indissociable des expériences quotidiennes de la vie sous toutes ses facettes et est composée des réalités que vit chaque femme sur le plan social, matériel et discursif. L'étude a été réalisée à partir de conversations auxquelles ont participé 15 femmes qui se sont identifiées comme lesbiennes pour les fins de l'enquête, ainsi qu'à partir de témoignages portant sur les femmes dans les médias, et le journal de réflexion de la chercheuse. Les résultats nous font voir de nouveaux points de vue concernant les multiples significations du mot « lesbienne ». Ils invitent vivement le personnel infirmier à considérer les catégories binaires de l'homosexualité et l'hétérosexualité comme des signifiants qui décrivent inadéquatement les réalités vécues par les femmes, à tenir compte des composantes particulières de la vie de chaque femme et à délaisser les a priori hétérosexistes dans le but de réduire l'impact néfaste de l'exclusion sociale, l'isolement, la discrimination et la stigmatisation comme déterminants de la santé.

Keywords: DISCLOSURE; FEMINIST; HERMENEUTICS; HETERONORMATIVITY; HETEROSEXISM; LESBIAN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • CJNR is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published by the McGill University School of Nursing since 1969. With world-wide circulation, CJNR's primary mandate is to publish original nursing research that develops basic knowledge for the discipline and examines the application of the knowledge in practice. Research related to education and history is also welcomed, as are methodological, theoretical, and review papers that advance nursing science. Letters or commentaries about published articles are encouraged. Learn more.
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