Biracial-Bisexual Individuals: Identity Coming of Age

Biracial-Bisexual Individuals: Identity Coming of Age

International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies
Issue Volume 5, Number 3 (July, 2000)
Pages 221-253
ISSN 1566-1768 (Print) 1573-8167 (Online)
DOI: 10.1023/A:1010137025394

J. Fuji Collins, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Health & Wellness – Vice Chancellor
University of California, Merced

There is considerable controversy regarding the means by which bisexual and biracial individuals achieve a sense of identity. In this paper, the concepts of bisexual and biracial identity are reviewed, and the literature on identity developmental models are critiqued. Further, a qualitative study is presented that explored the complexity of biracial identity development in Japanese-Americans. It is based on the constant comparative method of analysis, or grounded theory. The study focused on how Japanese-Americans perceived themselves in relation to other individuals, groups, and/or their environment. Findings related to initiating explorations of identity and perseverance in pursuing a biracial identity, which depended on the degree of support or negative experience within their social networks. Participants explored identity options attempting to develop their own meaning of identity, to develop a confident sense of themselves and secure a positive ethnic identity. Based on research and dialogue, there appears to be parallels between bisexual and biracial identity development. A model is proposed that suggests that individuals who are bisexual or biracial go through four phases in their development of their positive identity. These phases are: Phase I—Questioning/Confusion; Phase II—Refusal/Suppression; Phase III—Infusion/Exploration; and Phase IV—Resolution/Acceptance. These phases describe people who have two distinct identities that place them in a position of self-devaluation. From there they move to a position where there is a positive perception of identity based on the coexistence of their identities.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , ,