A Narrative Approach to "Coming Out": Differences and Commonalities Across Generational Lines
Occasionally, circumstances create alternate paths for identity formation. Many researchers developed multi-dimensional models to explain the stages and processes that create a gay/lesbian identity. One of the final stages includes disclosure. "Coming out" is the act of disclosing one's sexuality to the self and/or peers. There are three main audiences homosexuals come out to: themselves, other homosexuals, and heterosexuals. Narrative interviews help gain greater insight into life experiences and allow the individuality and commonalities in the "coming out experience" to emerge. In order to further investigate and hear the voices of coming out, 16 semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted. Through these interviews, eight themes (first outing, privacy versus openness, language, support, destructive behavior, family background, religion, reconstructing the life story) were identified and investigated.