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Virtually Belonging: Risk, Connectivity, and Coming Out On-Line

By Sally R Munt, Elizabeth H Bassett and Kate O'Riordan


This essay examines a self-defined, lesbian on-line community focusing on the construction and performance of identity in relation to coming out on-line. Coming out is a central narrative form in the construction of lesbian identity. In considering the implications of coming out in an on-line community, issues of privacy and public space are central. Coming out on-line can be seen as both an alternative to, and augmentation of, coming out off-line. Questioning whether this on-line community sustains performative utterances, the authors explore the relationships between on-line and off-line locales. The construction of boundaries is considered in an analysis of how sexualized bodies emerge in virtual spaces. KEYWORDS: lesbian; coming out; identity; community; on-line

Publisher: Springer Verlag
Year: 2002
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