In Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs, Wayne Brekhaus discusses more than the promised analysis of gay suburbia. Brekhaus presents a thorough investigation of human identity construction, which just so happens to apply well to gay suburban life in America. The title refers to the three main types of identity management that people use to construct their sense of self. Brekhaus defines his terms well. Identity is defined in three ways; or, there are three different types of identity. These three identity types include the following: first, there are broad group identities; then, there are the "commonly recognized dimensions along which group identities are formed," such as sexual identity; and finally, there is self-identity. An individual can have multiple identities; what Brekhaus explores is how individuals manage these sometimes disparate identities in one persona. The person will have a core self, or true self, "the very core" of a person that "reflects an inner, true, unchanging, context-independent essence" of human being (Brekhaus 23).
Brekhaus posits three main methods of managing identity, or three identity types. Those three identity types include the lifestyler (peacocks); the commuter (chameleon); and the integrator (centaur). These are also what Brekhaus refers to as identity grammars, as there is a grammar or structure by which identity is formed. Each of these three identity management types (lifestyler, commuter, and centaur) corresponds with a grammatical