Intersectional identities and dilemmas in interactions with healthcare professionals: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of British Muslim gay men

Joanna Semlyen, Atif Ali, Paul Flowers

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Individual interviews were conducted with six self-identified Muslim gay men living in London focusing on their experience of health service use. Transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Analysis identified two major themes: the close(d) community and self-management with healthcare professionals, detailing participants’ concerns regarding the risks of disclosing sexuality; and the authentic identity–‘you’re either a Muslim or you’re gay, you can’t be both’–which delineated notions of incommensurate identity. Analysis highlights the need for health practitioners to have insight into the complexity of intersectional identities, identity disclosure dynamics and the negative consequences of assumptions made, be these heteronormative or faith-related.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1035
Number of pages13
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number9
Early online date22 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2018


  • gay men
  • health inequalities
  • identity
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Muslim

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