Ethnographic Interview



Comprehensiveresearch has been done on the attitudes of the society towardshomosexuality, especially in the developed countries such as theUnited States (Hillman 59). The latest study indicates that asignificant number of Americans harbor adverse attitudes towardshomosexuals and homosexuality, even though the number has declinedremarkably over the last few decades. Canadians, Britons, andAustralians are more welcoming to the issue than Americans thoughtheir attitudes are mainly based on similar demographic features andvalues (Roy 48). As a result, it is easier to conclude that thosewith negative attitudes towards them possess authoritarian traits andtraditional gender role beliefs. Moreover, they have a higherprobability of believing that sexuality is a choice and less likelyto have come into contact with gay people (Patterson and D`Augelli242).


Thegovernment of the United States often points out that they cannotdiscriminate individuals due to their sexuality. However, things aremuch different on the ground. Individually, the homosexuals andlesbians in the America are always ridiculed and rebuked by membersof the society. Consequently, they live in fear and alienated fromthe rest of the world. To make it worse, few parents can accept theidea of their children being gay (Elliott 89). Such a child will growto hate the parents and will most likely never reveal their sexualityto the society. Despite the many literature reviews on the attitudesof the society towards homosexuals, lesbians, and transsexuals, fewor no research covers their personal experiences. Only psychologistsand their trustees fathom the pain that the go through. It is quiteunfortunate that institutions that are supposed to protect them fromtorture do the contrary, for example, religious bodies are known toabhor them. Therefore, it would be prudent for studies to concentrateon the personal experiences of lesbians, bisexuals, gays, andtranssexuals instead of generalizing the society’s attitudes.

Occupyingthe Niche

Manypeople are usually not at liberty to reveal their sexuality,especially to strangers. Accordingly, it becomes difficult tounderstand whatever they are experiencing. It should be noted thatgay people may interact similarly to straight individuals making itdifficult to prove. In addition, they may be aggressive and harmanyone appearing to question their sexuality. However, the secret tooccupying such a niche will entail gaining their trust first.Therefore, after spotting or being directed to a homosexual orlesbian, it will be important to study them before making anapproach.


Thestudy dwelt on a single respondent. Hence, the appropriate techniqueof obtaining the ideal participant as an interviewee was purposivesampling. The identity of the informant was changed to safeguard hisconfidentiality. Michael was selected as his friends knew that he hada boyfriend. Prior to the interview, we had met on several occasionsbut never spoke on a personal level. He was open and at peace withhis sexuality, and seemed to have a great acumen about people andhimself whenever he spoke. His approachable, engaging, and friendlyattitude made the interview perfect. Moreover, he also provided mewith his contact details. At times, I would call him, especiallyduring the weekends, as well as send him emails and text messages toobtain more information for the study. He took me through the journeythat led him to become a homosexual and start hooking up withstrangers. His social nature did not reflect that of otherhomosexuals that I had come into contact before. I became interestedin knowing his family’s attitude towards his sexuality and thecultural resistance he encountered. Michael’s dating history wascaptivating, more so the development of his interest in men, when heknew, and how he described such feelings when they emerged and how heexplains them now. Any particular hardships as a young gay man in theAmerican society were appealing to the research.

Findingsand Discussion

Asa child, Michael was an experimental person. For instance, he had asexual encounter with a male teammate at the age of 6. He wanted toknow how it would be like to kiss girls, and therefore, experimentedwith men. Through that experience, he felt more drawn towards menthan the opposite sex. He constantly hooked up with girls but neverfound any spark. In the interview, he said, ‘I frequently findmyself thinking about men in a romantic way.` In a bid to satisfyhis lust for men secretly, he would watch transgender pornography,which according to him resonated with his feelings. Michael revealedthat men understood his sentiments more than women did, that is,unlike his female dates his male friends were always there for himwhenever he needed them. Michael concluded by stating, ‘it would beperfect for me to date men instead of women.` He is more than evercomfortable to admit, ‘I am not straight.` His friends arecontinuously condemning him and view him as an outcast. He lost manyfriends after disclosing his sexuality. He became depressed, lived insolitude life, and his parents, especially the father almost disownedhim but embraced his sexuality after two years of mental torture. ToMichael, gayism is more than a choice.


Elliott,Sinikka. NotMy Kid: What Parents Believe About the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers.New York: New York University Press, 2012. Print.

Hillman,Jennifer L. Sexualityand Aging: Clinical Perspectives.New York: Springer, 2012. Print.

Patterson,Charlotte, and Anthony R. D`Augelli. Handbookof Psychology and Sexual Orientation.New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.

Roy,R. SocialSupport, Health, and Illness: A Complicated Relationship.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011. Print.