Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Individual and Family Studies.




Semi-structured interviews were used to document the experiences of fifteen young women between the ages of 18--31 who have engaged in "apparent lesbian performances". Apparent Lesbian behaviours occur when women engage in intimate behaviour with other women in public places. This study finds that women who engage in this behaviour may identify as lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. Their lesbian performativity is defined as "apparent" because it is characteristically not interpreted by the actors or their audience as the actions of "real" lesbians. Rather it is behaviour that has been encouraged and normalized by pop culture icons like Madonna and Britney Spears who have popularized the female kiss on TV in 1993. The notion of heteroflexibility and fluid sexuality is examined in relation to the many ways that the young women in this study used apparent lesbian performances to construct, test, maintain and understand their own sexual identity as both fluid and fixed. The performances take place within highly specific public contexts where apparent lesbian behaviours are accepted and sometimes even encouraged.Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2006 .S36. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 45-01, page: 0171. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2006.