Monday, October 1, 2007

Stages of Coming out

Last week at the "coming out" support group they talked about the stages of coming out. I didn't know what they were talking about so I googled it. I have listed the stages they mentioned below. I also found this article that seems to hold a bit more complexity in it, which I like. I think I'm at a stage IV. Also here's another article on coming out to parents. Which I already did but.... just for a resource I thought I'd link to it.

Stages [taken from here]
  • Self-Recognition as Gay: More than just an awareness of attraction to members of the same sex, it involves confusion, some attempt at denial and repression of feelings, anxiety, trying to "pass," counseling, and often religious commitment to "overcome" sexuality. Eventually, acknowledgment and acceptance of one's sexual orientation develops. There may be some grief over "the fall from paradise" and feelings of loss of a traditional heterosexual life. Gay and lesbian people may be fairly closeted at this point. However, most seek out information about being gay.

  • Disclosure to Others: Sharing one's sexual orientation with a close friend or family member is the first step in this stage. Rejection may cause a return to the Self-Recognition stage, but positive acceptance can lead to better feelings of self-esteem. Usually disclosure is a slow process.

  • Socialization with Other Gays: Socializing with other gays and lesbians provides the experience that the person is not alone in the world, and there are other people like him or her. A positive sense of self, indeed pride develops, and is strengthened by acceptance, validation, and support. Contact with positive gay or lesbian role models can play a big role in this stage.

  • Integration and Acceptance: Entails an openness and non-defensiveness about one's sexual orientation. One may be quietly open, not announcing their sexual orientation, but available for support to others nonetheless. Couples live a comfortable life together and generally seek out other couples.

3 comments:

Michael said...

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this journey of yours. The information and insight you have been providing is helping me out in my own coming out story. I'm planning on coming out after Christmas in a letter.

just me - titration said...

Michael: Thanks for saying hi! I am glad my "blogging to cope" and resource myself is sometimes helpful for more than just me! Many blessings on you as you send your own letter!

Anonymous said...

Being gay is COOL :)