Document Type

Honors Paper


Jefferson Singer

Publication Date



This study examined friendships between gay male athletes and their heterosexual teammates. Six gay college athletes from various athletic and geographical backgrounds, recruited through a gay sports website and a gay sports documentary, were interviewed. These athletes identified a straight teammate and friend for additional interviewing. Both athletes answered questions about their mutual friendship. The interviews were analyzed through grounded analysis to identify seven “zones of intimacy” and five other unique friendship themes. These intimacy zones and friendship themes were investigated for homosocial patterns, relationship reciprocity, and self-disclosure, among other themes. Despite sports culture’s homophobia, these friendships exhibit as much intimacy, if not more, than friendships between two heterosexual teammates.

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Psychology Commons



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.