Note: This project is now complete.
Please note that these interviews are being done for research purposes only. I will make every effort to ensure that this material is kept confidential. For more details on this, see below.
Why is this research project important?
Sexual orientation is a key form of division in our society. Because of this, it is often assumed to the very simple. I am interested in the diversity of experience around sexual orientation. Do people define themselves as either gay, straight or bi? What do these labels mean? How do people feel about them? How do people with different labels (or without labels) feel about queer/LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) politics? How do they feel about expectations of normal heterosexuality? What are the similarities and differences in these experiences?
I think these are interesting questions that can tell us a lot about gender, sexuality, identity and politics.
Why should I take part?
That is for you to decide. You might think the research project is worthwhile and want to help about. Or, you might enjoy talking about these things. Many people enjoy being interviewed. It gives them the chance to talk about themselves and things that interest them.
How long will it take?
The interviews take about two hours on average. It depends on how much you have to say and how much time you would like to spend talking. We can discuss this more specifically if you decide you are interested in participating.
Do you need to be able to speak with me and my partner(s)?No. Ideally, I would like to interview both (or all) people in a relationship. However, if only one of you is available, I would still like to discuss the possibility of doing an interview.
What will you do with what I have told you?
I will I read and analyse each of the interviews to look for similarities and differences amoung the people I have interviewed. The only people who will see original transcripts are myself, a professional transcriber sworn to confidentiality, and my academic supervisors Dr Lynn Jamieson, Dr Stanley Raffel and Dr Mo Rahman.
I will then use quotations from interviews in my PhD thesis and possibly other media including books, academic journals, magazines, web sites (including this one) and radio or television broadcast.
Will anyone know that I was one of the people interviewed?
I will try to ensure that quotations from your interview are made as unrecognisable as possible. I will, of course, refer to you by a pseudonym and disguise specific characteristics such as your occupation, where you live and the like. However, I cannot guarantee that no one will recognise you. If you wish to share something particularly sensitive, I can make that extra anonymous (e.g. "One participant, who wished to remain anonymous, described a difficult situation with their partner..."). If you have any concerns either before, during or after the interview about privacy, please share them with me. I believe strongly in informed consent and do not want anyone I interview to feel as though they have been mistreated. I will treat you and your words with respect throughout the research process.
Please note that interviews given in confidence do not enjoy legal privilege, that is the state may demand to see them (e.g. in a court of law). It seems highly unlikely that this will be the case.
Barring threats of violence by the state (e.g. imprisonment), I will not inform anyone of your identity.
What would I do if I felt that I had been treated unfairly?
As a member of the British Sociological Association, I am bound by their ethical guidelines. If you felt that I had acted in an unethical manner or you felt hurt or mistreated, and you felt uncomfortable speaking with me, you could .