Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Eight men and five women who identify themselves as gay men and lesbians participated in confidential taped interviews and were assigned pseudonyms. They were asked questions concerning their coming-out process, including their realization of their homosexuality, worries about coming out, family relationships, and changes in their lives. It was assumed that men and women would have different experiences coming out because ofthe different expectations and roles under which they grow up. The men and women in the study had similar experiences during their coming-out processes and were not very divided along gender lines. They had worries about the effects their coming out would have on their relationships with family and friends. Most went through at least a few difficulties with their families, but several of those families have since begun to accept their son's or daughter's homosexuality. Overall, the experiences ofmen and women in the study did not differ greatly. The few differences found were accompanied by a universal experience that they all seemed to go through.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Stephen Groce

Disciplines

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies