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Gay Consumers and Brand Usage: The Gender-Flexing Role of Gay Identity


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Gillian Oakenfull, Associate Professor of Marketing, 3038 Farmer School of Business, Miami University, Mail: 3038, Oxford, OH 45056 (


Prior research suggests that gender identity congruity between an individual and product brand will yield positive responses in terms of consumer behavior, However, gender atypicality has been observed among gay males and lesbians, which may confound previous research conducted under a heteronormative gaze. Drawing on research in psychology that considers gay identity as a cognitive construct and a component of self-concept, the findings of this study indicate that an individual's strength of gay identity and involvement in the gay community appear to invert effects of “typical” gender schema congruity on brand usage for both gay males and lesbians.