Typology of Gay Consumers’ Interaction Styles on Complaining Propensity

Eric D. Olson
Heejung Ro, University of Central Florida


The purpose of this study is to develop a typology of gay male consumers based on self-concept variables related to social interactions. Openness about sexual orientation, collective self-esteem, stigma-consciousness, and negative evaluation were used to identify clusters of gay male consumers. An initial test sample (n = 125) suggested a three-cluster solution, and a validation sample (n = 247) established reproducibility of the proposed typology. Three clusters with distinct interaction styles emerged: "confident gay," "diffident gay," and "guarded gay." Additionally, the usefulness of the typology is demonstrated by comparing the clusters on the basis of complaining propensity. Typologies of each cluster and implications for research and practice are discussed.