Lavender Islands: Portrait of the Whole Family

Articles and Publications


It is always important to read any information on any website with a critical eye. All of the papers from the Lavender Islands project have appeared in peer-reviewed journals. Where possible, we have included a direct link to the electronic version of articles that have appeared; where this is not possible we have linked to a pdf version of the article. Articles so far:

General Overview

Lavender Islands: The New Zealand Study. This is the basic article, submitted in 2004, that presents the first findings from our study. You can find it at Henrickson, M., Neville, S. Jordan, C., Donaghey, S. (2007). Lavender Islands: The New Zealand study.Journal of Homosexuality 53 (4), 223-248.

Living in Multiple Worlds: Satisfaction with and LGB identity. It seems the older we are the more satisfied we are with who we are. This is probably due to the resilience we discover in the coming-out process. In gay men this levels off in the 40-49 age group, but in women satisfaction just keeps growing! (In a general population of men life satisfaction begins to decline from age 60.) This datashow was presented at the 2010 global social work congress in Hong Kong. This has been developed into a full paper which is currently in review.


The LI data show that the more educated someone is, the later they are likely to come out! This seemingly counter-intuitive finding is explored in this article, which appears as Henrickson, M. (2008). Deferring identity and social role in lesbian, gay and bisexual New Zealanders. Journal of Social Work Education, 27 (2), 53-65. This article also considers the idea that an LGB identity may be related to social class.

“You have to be strong to be gay” found that the effects of bullying on LGBs can be lifelong, in both educational attainment and income. This appears as Henrickson, M. (2007). “You have to be strong to be gay”: Bullying and educational attainment in LGB New Zealanders. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 19 (3/4), 67-85; co-published as a chapter in James Sears (Ed.) Homophobic Bullying. New York: Haworth Press.

The effects of heteronormativity and heterosexism on sexual minorities in different Asia-Pacific cultures is considered in 'Social Work Education and Sexual Minorities', chapter 9 in Social Work Education: Voices from the Asia Pacific (C. Noble, M. Henrickson and I.Y. Han, Eds.). Carlton North, VIC: Vulgar Press. (This book is available for A$40 from Vulgar Press.)


Perceptions of lesbian, gay and bisexual people of primary healthcare services This paper looks at the issue of well-being from a nursing perspective. It was a featured article on its release. It appears as Neville, S. & Henrickson, M. (2006). Perceptions of lesbian, gay and bisexual people of primary healthcare services. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 55 (4), 407-415.


Does it really get better? Or do sexual minorities just learn how to cope better with the challenges we face? Identity satisfaction over the life course in sexual minorities is our latest article, and finds that LGB folks are increasingly satisfied with their identities over their lives, while non-gay satisfaction appears to peak and decline from around age 50. The article explores some reasons for this. This article appears as Henrickson, M. & Neville, S. (2012) in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 24: 80-95.


We found some interesting differences between New Zeland-born respondents and Asian-born respondents. This article identifies some of those differences. It appears as Henrickson, M. (2006) Lavender Immigration to New Zealand: Comparative descriptions of overseas-born sexual minorities. Social Work Review, 18 (3), 69-78.


This article on the use of cyberspace for constructing LGB communities (reaching out) and finding sexual contacts (hooking up). The full citation for this article is Henrickson, M. (2007). Reaching out, hooking up: Lavender netlife in a New Zealand study. Journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 4(2), 38-49.

Maori/Tangata whenua

"Ko Wai Ratou [Who are we]?". This paper is a study of nga tangata whenua [Maori] e nga tau iwi (non-Maori) participants in the study. Ko tenei te tuku mihi te tuku aroha ki a Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku raua ko Linda Waimarie Nikora o te Whare Wananga o Waikato, ki a Ngahuia Whiu o Massey University-Auckland hoki. Na ta koutou tautoko, a koutou korero awhina, kupu manawa hoki, i oti pai ai te tuhinga o tenei pepa. This paper has been published as Henrickson, M. (2006). Ko wai ratou? Managing multiple identities in lesbian, gay and bisexual New Zealand Maori. New Zealand Sociology, 21 (2), 251-273. (You'll need to rotate counterclockwise to read this Adobe file.)


Lavender Parents. This paper examines differences between our respondents who are parents and those who are not. It appeared as Henrickson, M. (2005). Lavender parents. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 26 , 68-83, or click on the hot link at the start of this paragraph.


Stephen and Mark have developed a paper on LGB relationships that has been published in a nursing journal. Although the publisher has restricted access to this article, you can find it at Neville, S. & Henrickson, M. (2008) Lavender Relationships: An LGB Perspective. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18: 849-856.

Our most recent published article, Civilised Unions, Civilised Rights: Same Sex Relationships in Aotearoa New Zealand appears in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 22 (1) 40-55. It suggests that it is the right to marry, rather than actually taking advantage of that right, which is important to LGB individuals.

Religion & Spirituality

LGBs in NZ who were raised Christian are abandoning that religion for 'No Religion' at 2.4 times the rate that other New Zealanders are declaring 'No Religion'. 'Christian' families also appear to be less accepting of LGB partners. This article considers the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of our participants. It appears as Henrickson, M. (2007). Lavender Faith; Religion, spirituality and identity in lesbian, gay and bisexual New Zealanders. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work (Social Thought), 26 (3), 63-80.

A Queer Kind of Faith: Religion and spirituality in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual New Zealanders. Aotearoa Ethnic Network Journal, 2 (2). This is an electronic journal, so just click on the link and scroll down. This articles continues the exploration of religion in the lives of LGB New Zealanders, but includes more qualitative data: voices of the participants themselves.

Another article in Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work 28 (1/2): 48-62, explores why contemporary religious controversies seem to focus on sexual minorities. See the article Sexuality, religion and authority: Towards reframing estrangement.

Work & Income

Labour and Lavender. This may be the most controversial of our papers; it has not been accepted for publication, but we are working on some revisions that may make it more publishable. However, we stand by its core findings!