Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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This study adopts three-level narrative positioning to analyze the construction of the closet and integrate the identity- and desired-centered approaches to language and sexuality. In two coming-out narratives, the same-sex desiring Indian immigrants in the U.S. portray their heterosexually married counterparts as ‘deceiving and hiding’. In their recounts (level 1), the narrators position themselves opposite these story characters to create an ‘open and honest’ self. In the interaction (level 2), they evoke shared cultural knowledge with the interviewer regarding the pressure from family. Against the socio-historical context (level 3), the narrators’ outness is accentuated through such authenticating conditions as one’s marital status and nationality. Such coming-out binarism reinforces a normativity that validates ‘out’ homosexuality while/by discrediting its ‘closeted’ form. The theoretical integration highlights the interviewer’s role in coming-out research and illustrates the exclusionary force of coming out that reconfigures same-sex desires into hierarchized, intelligible sexual identities.


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