When identities collide: Conflicts in allegiances among LGB people of color

Elissa L. Sarno, Jonathan J. Mohr*, Skyler D. Jackson, Ruth E. Fassinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Little research has examined the management of multiple minority identities among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people of color, despite a growing theoretical literature on such identity intersections. The present study focused on the intersectional construct of conflicts in allegiances (CIA), defined as perceived incompatibility between one's racial/ethnic and sexual orientation identities. CIA was investigated in relation to experiences of parental heterosexism, racism in LGB communities, outness, and racial/ethnic and sexual orientation group identity. Participants were 124 LGB people of color (main sample) and 124 LGB White people (comparison sample) who completed self-report measures of the main variables as part of a larger survey of same-sex couples. CIA was positively correlated with experiences of racism within LGB communities and perceived heterosexism in one's mother (but not one's father), and negatively correlated with outness to family (but not outness to others in one's everyday life). An interaction was found between racial/ethnic and LGB group identity with respect to behavioral engagement: CIA levels were highest among participants with high racial/ethnic behavioral engagement and low sexual orientation behavioral engagement. Results highlight the role of minority and family contexts in CIA among LGB people of color, and, more broadly, the potential value of studying intersectional variables using quantitative methods. Longitudinal and experimental studies are needed to address questions about direction of influence raised by findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-559
Number of pages10
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Identity development
  • Intersectionality
  • Outness
  • Racial/ethnic minorities
  • Sexual minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'When identities collide: Conflicts in allegiances among LGB people of color'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this