The purpose of this inquiry was to explore the meanings and organizational implications of lesbianism and the lesbian label within the sport organization context. Fourteen faculty members from two health and kinesiology departments were asked how they, their colleagues, and their departments defined, responded to, coped with, and managed the lesbian label. First and foremost, the words of these faculty members identify the lesbian label as a component of a lesbian stigma at both the individual and departmental levels and within the field of health and kinesiology as a whole. The consequences of the stigma, however, varied by department suggesting the importance of departmental culture and atmosphere. Implications of these findings, as they pertain to sport managers, are discussed.
Sartore is with East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Cunningham is with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.