Within and beyond Symbolic Interactionism, sociological studies of bisexual, transgender, lesbian, and gay (BTLG) populations have expanded dramatically in the past two decades. Although such studies have invigorated our understanding of many aspects of BTLG life and experience, they have thus far left BTLG Pride relatively unexplored. How do BTLG populations experience Pride, and what insights might such efforts have for sociologically understanding such populations and events? We examine these questions through an interview study of bi+ people (i.e., sexually fluid people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, or otherwise outside of gay/straight binaries; Eisner, 2013). Specifically, we analyze how bi+ people negotiate both (1) experiencing Pride as “outsiders within” the broader BTLG population (Collins, 1986), and (2) framing who Pride is for and what it means in practice. In so doing, we demonstrate how Interactionist analyses of certain groups’ meaning making around and experiences of Pride can expand existing sociologies of BTLG populations, bisexual experience, and Pride.


bisexual, Pride, LGBTQ, sexuality, symbolic interactionism

Author Bio(s)

Lain A.B. Mathers is an assistant professor in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at Indiana State University. Their teaching and research are in the areas of gender, sexualities, and religion with a specific focus on social inequalities. Please direct correspondence to Lain.Mathers@indstate.edu.

J.E. Sumerau is a novelist and scholar focused on the intersections of sexualities, gender, religion, and health in the reproduction of inequalities that facilitate patterns of violence in society.


The first author would like to thank Lorena Garcia, Kristen Schilt, Claire Decoteau, Laurie Schaffner, and Emoonah McClerklin for their support and comments on earlier iterations of this project.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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