Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) expatriates: an intersectionality perspective

Varina Paisley*, Mark Tayar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) expatriates are under-researched and an increasingly significant group due to the growing demand for global labour. Although LGBT people are becoming acknowledged in diversity management practices, their mobility and freedom to disclose their identity may be limited in many countries. To explain the challenges and identity management strategies of LGBT expatriates, we adapt the social constructionist perspective of intersectionality to show how different spheres of cultural context influence LGBT expatriates’ multiple identities and lead to convergent or divergent intersectionality. Our main contribution is in introducing convergent and divergent intersectionality to explain how the multiple identities of expatriates are redefined during an international work assignment. Furthermore, we examine the overlapping spheres of culture to create a multidimensional view of cultural context. We offer four propositions regarding how cultural context influences LGBT expatriate’s intersectionality and the organizational outcomes of this. Finally, this paper highlights both practical implications for expatriate management and research implications for the International Human Resource Management literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-780
Number of pages15
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2016


  • diversity management
  • expatriate management
  • identity
  • international assignment
  • intersectionality
  • LGBT


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