SUMMARY. This article addresses the concept of gay and lesbian identity development with respect to African American gay men and lesbians. The authors suggest that the integration of one's gay identity and the coming out process are uniquely constructed for African American gay men and lesbians, who may be multiply challenged by racial prejudice, limited acceptance by the African American community, and a lack of integration into the larger, White gay community. Race, African American culture, a continuum of gay cultures, gender, and individual characteristics are suggested as salient variables that distinguish the gay identity experience of African American gays from that proposed by most gay identity models. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Docwnent Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: getinfo@haworthpressinc.comJ

Dorie Gilbert Martinez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, The Univeristy of Texas at Austin, 1925 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 3, 130M, Austin, TX 78712. Dr. Martinez's research and writings focus on the impact of social stigma on vulnerable populations. Her other areas of expertise are Human Behavior and the Social Environment.