VISTAS Group Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Gay Subculture Identification: Training Counselors to Work With Gay Men

Justin L. Maki


Providing counseling services to gay men is considered an ethical practice in
professional counseling. With the recent changes in the Defense of Marriage Act
and legalization of gay marriage nationwide, it is safe to say that many
Americans are more accepting of same-sex relationships than in the past.
However, although societal attitudes are shifting towards affirmation of gay
rights, division and discrimination, masculinity shaming, and within-group
labeling between gay men has become more prevalent. To this point, gay men
have been viewed as a homogeneous population, when the reality is that there are
a variety of gay subcultures and significant differences between them.
Knowledge of these subcultures benefits those in and out-of-group when they are
recognized and understood. With an increase in gay men identifying with a
subculture within the gay community, counselors need to be cognizant of these
subcultures in their efforts to help gay men self-identify. An explanation of
various gay male subcultures is provided for counselors, counseling supervisors,
and counselor educators.

Keywords: gay men, subculture, within-group discrimination, masculinity,

PDF, 273.32 KB

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