Gay men in the police: Identity disclosure and management issues

Nick Rumens*, John Broomfield

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Updating the paucity of UK research on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) sexualities in the police, this study examines the identity disclosure and management practices of 20 gay police officers. Drawing on in-depth interview data, our key finding is that gay police officers generally do not expect to be stigmatised but anticipate and experience positive disclosure experiences. Overall, the research reveals that gay officers actively seek to construct disclosure opportunities and adopt strategies of identity integration. Significantly, gay police identities can be managed openly and valued as organisational assets. Gendered organisational norms are influential here, shaping how and to whom participants disclose and manage their gay identities. Of concern then is that some police work environments continue to reinforce traditional notions of masculinity, potentially discrediting and limiting the integration of gay officers. This represents important knowledge for those HRM practitioners who advise and support LGB police personnel.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)283-298
    Number of pages16
    JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


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