Hiding Sexual Preference Of LGBT And Coming Out

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Sexual orientation is how an individual thinks of himself/herself in terms of to whom or to what gender he/she is attracted with, whether it is to same sex or gender, both sexes, or to more than one gender. It is also referring to identifying whether an individual have or does not have a gender. Sexual identity and sexual behavior are close to sexual orientation.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Gender identity is the personal sense of an individual’s gender. It is an expression. Gender identity doesn’t have a cause because it is natural to everyone. It is natural to everyone to express themselves.

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Sexual orientation and gender identity are complicated, and it cannot just simply be identified as male and female. According to Maria Ruud, gender identity cannot be based on sexual orientation. If a male individual is attracted to male, it does not mean that they are both gays, nor they are both bisexuals. It is depending on how they classify and see themselves.

Coming Out

Coming out is a process in which an individual chooses to disclose to others his/her sexual orientation or gender identity. According to Rodgers (2017), coming out is considered a key developmental milestone associated with better psychological wellbeing because it raises self-esteem and lowers the intensity of depression.

LGBT first come out other LGBT, then to close friends, then to peers and other adults, and finally to family members. LGBT first come out to another LGBT because they are the ones that can understand each other.

Factors on Hiding Sexual Preference of LGBT

According to Phillips (2007) in her research entitled Identity Development as the Parent of a Lesbian or Gay Male, hiding sexual orientation has been correlated with increased rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicidal behaviors.

According to Chaney & Wortham (2015), individuals who do not come out are at high risk of substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Individuals may also feel isolation and loneliness including fear of rejection.

Factors on Disclosure or Coming Out

Denes & Afifi (2014) states in their article entitled Coming Out Again: Exploring GLBQ Individuals’ Communication with their Parents After the First Coming Out, that there are six strategies in “Coming out”. They conducted a survey on how their respondents come out to their family especially to their parents.

First is the preparation and rehearsal. One respondent said that he created a script for how he would reveal his gender before telling it to his mother.

Second is directness. One respondent said that he come out to his parent face-to-face. An individual cannot reveal his/her gender face-to-face that is why he used other strategy. It is the third-party revelations. In the third-party revelation, the respondent let her parents know her gender identity from other family member.

Fourth is incremental disclosure. Here, the respondent revealed subtle hints about his sexual orientation to see the reaction of parents. Fifth is entrapment. It is revealing sexual orientation directly in the heat of an argument. And lastly, the indirect mediums, coming out using indirect mediums like letter, chat or text messages.

Positive Effects of Coming Out

Coming out has a positive impact in well-being. According to Solomon, McAbee, Asberg & McGee, coming out can reduce stress and it can lead to greater relationship satisfaction. It can also lead to higher self-esteem and self-acceptance.

11 February 2020

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