Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Integrated Studies


This research explores the ethnic identity model's use as a viable option for achieving equal civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Building on social theory, queer theory, and queer politics, I explore the ethnic identity model as it was used for civil rights in the 1960s. Specifically, I revisit the model's viability for LGBTQ rights since the introduction of queer theory and queer politics. Queer theory has problematized identity and challenged the notion of fixed identity categories. Queer politics is changing the nature of our society's relationship to our sexual and gender identities. Views, assumptions, and opinions regarding those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer have changed a great deal. I have looked to academic literature and implemented a critical analysis of that literature for this discussion. Drawing on this body of literature, I revisit the practicality and the limitations of the ethnic identity model as it was applied to the gay liberation movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, then I explore the possibility of applying the model to the queer movement of the 1980s and 1990s. I conclude with a discussion of the shortcomings of the model for its future use in equal rights for queers.


Thesis (M.A.) Interdisciplinary Studies