Coming out as gay: A phenomenological study about adolescents disclosing their homosexuality to their parents

Renée Perrin-Wallqvist1, Josephine Lindblom1
1Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Karlstad University, Sweden
Cite this article:  Perrin-Wallqvist, R., & Lindblom, J. (2015). Coming out as gay: A phenomenological study about adolescents disclosing their homosexuality to their parents. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43, 467-480.

Volume 43 Issue 3 | e4355 | Published: April 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.3.467

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Our aim was to gain an understanding of adolescents’ experiences of disclosing their sexual orientation as lesbian or gay to their parents. In order to capture these experiences, we conducted interviews with 6 people who had told at least 1 parent of their sexual orientation as lesbian or gay. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis we identified 4 themes from the emotions described by the respondents when they disclosed their sexual orientation to their parents. These 4 themes were feelings of alienation, uneasiness and fear, self-acceptance and being comfortable with one’s sexuality, and feeling whole. The conclusion we drew from the accounts of the people we interviewed is that disclosing one’s sexual orientation to one’s parents is liberating.

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