Identity disclosure as a securityscape for LGBT people

Nurbek Omurov
2017 Psychology in Russia: State of Art  
Background. The concept of a securityscape is an emerging approach to understanding human (in)securities. It derives from the concept of scapes that was initially proposed by anthropologist and cultural theorist Arjun Appadurai in 1996. Securityscapes are imagined individual perceptions of safety motivated by existential contingencies or otherwise theorized as givens of existence, according to psychotherapist Irvin Yalom: death, freedom, existential isolation, and meaningfulness. A recent study
more » ... on securityscapes in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan described different securityscapes among selected socially and politically vulnerable communities, including the LGBT community. It listed securityscapes of LGBT people but did not provide details as to how such securityscapes are formed. Disclosure of a stigmatized identity was one such securityscape. objective. This article elaborates on research on how LGBT people consider disclosure of their stigmatized identity a securityscape. design. This study was conducted using a semistructured biographical interview with LGBT people in Kyrgyzstan. Results. It found that both voluntary identity disclosure and the decision to conceal the stigmatized identity are considered contrasting securityscapes by LGBT people, depending on how central the stigmatized identity is to their self-conception. conclusion. The study concludes that identity disclosure as a securityscape should be considered on a continuum, with identity concealment as a securityscape on one end and complete identity disclosure as a securityscape on the other. Keywords: LGBT, securityscape, stigmatized identity, identity disclosure, givens of existence introduction The article is based on research that was conducted on the concept of securityscapes shaped by existential threats, with particular attention to identity disclosure as a securityscape for LGBT people. I consider proactive and voluntary disclosure of a stigmatized identity as a security-making and analyze how identity disclosure as a securityscape is pursued by LGBT people in a nonaffirming environment (so-
doi:10.11621/pir.2017.0205 fatcat:j66f5s62tzd2dipzjab3rx6nwq