Do Lesbians in the Military Pass as Heterosexual?
Bonner, Kimberly Bridget
Segal, David R.
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This exploratory multiple-case case study investigates if lesbians in the military, past and present, manage to "pass" as heterosexual. This project is designed with the aim of enabling new questions about old problems regarding gender and sexuality within American military culture. Data come from two sources comprised of seventy-three interviews with military lesbians from three previously published works and five face-to-face interviews with active duty lesbians conducted by the author between 2007 and 2008. Lesbians in the military are centralized here in this multiple-case case study because they are both "women" and "homosexuals" participating in an institution that has had historically tense relationships with members of both of these social groups. This project pays specific attention to non-gender conforming lesbians in the military and argues that this group in particular potentially stands to shed light on how both gender and sexual norms operate within both American society and military culture.