Under a Rainbow Flag: The Diversity of Sexual Orientation

Book Section

Sexual orientation cuts across all races, genders, ethnicities, generations, ability statuses, and socioeconomic levels. The rainbow flag is symbolic of the diverse contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people bring to American culture, and of the diversity within the domain of sexual orientation itself. They are a microcosm of American society. This chapter offers some basic information about how people come to identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and once they do, what issues they are likely to face in their lives. In so doing, it explores the richness of this diversity, both within the community and in the larger social context. It is important for anyone who has a helping, educational, or management role in our society as teacher, therapist, health care worker, social service worker, clergy person, or employer, to understand this diversity. Historically, homosexuality had been viewed as a form of mental illness, arising from an arrest of normative psychosexual development. However, an extensive literature shows that lesbians and gays do not differ from heterosexuals on any number of psychological measures of well-being.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Haldeman, DC; Buhrke, RA

Published Date

  • March 22, 2012

Book Title

  • Diversity in Human Interactions: The Tapestry of America

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780195143904

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143904.003.0009

Citation Source

  • Scopus