Coming out and living openly aren’t something you do once, or even for one year. It’s a journey that we make every single day of our lives. Every coming out experience is unique and must be navigated in the way most comfortable for the individual. The Coming Out Project helps LGBT, as well as straight-supportive people live openly and talk about their support for equality at home, at work and in their communities each and every day.
Below are some link to the Human Rights Campaign with tips that can help you prepare your coming out process.
|Latino||Asian American Pacific Islander||African American||National Coming Out Day|
These sites are available for general discussion as well.
The Cass Theory, developed by Vivian Cass (1979) is a six stage model that describes the developmental process individuals go through as they consider and then acquire a homosexual identity. This model includes lesbian, gay and bisexual identities. You may find yourself in one of these stages. Know that what you are experiencing is completely normal and that many, many others have had similar experiences. Below are the stages summarized by the Univerisity of Washington's Counceling Center.
- Stage 1 - Identity Confusion: You begin to wonder whether you may be homosexual. Along with other thoughts and feelings, you may experience denial and confusion.
- Stage 2 - Identity Comparison: You accept the possibility that you may be gay and face the social isolation that can occur with this new identity.
- Stage 3 - Identity Tolerance: Your acceptance of your homosexuality increases, and you begin to tolerate this identity. Although confusion and distress concerning your sexual orientation decreases, you may feel increased isolation and alienation as your self-concept becomes increasingly different from society’s expectation of you. In this stage, you often begin to make contact with members of the LGB community.
- Stage 4 - Identity Acceptance: You have resolved most of the questions concerning your sexual identity and have accepted yourself as homosexual. You have increasing contact with the LGB community
- Stage 5 - Identity Pride: You begin to feel pride in being part of the LGB community and immerse yourself into LGB culture. In turn, you have less contact with the heterosexual community. Sometimes you may actually feel angry with or reject the heterosexual community.
- Stage 6 - Identity Synthesis: You integrate your sexual identity with other aspects of your self so that it is just one part of your whole identity. The anger you may have felt toward the heterosexual community or the intense pride you may have felt in being homosexual decreases, and you can be your whole self with others from both groups. You feel more congruence between your public self and your private self.
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