Working it "Out": A Relational Understanding of Disclosure Decisions in Same-Gender Couples
Steelman, Sarah Michelle
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"Coming out" is a unique experience for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority individuals (LGB+), yet it remains ill-defined within scholarship and is individually focused. This study investigates how same-gender couples negotiate relationship visibility and what motivates them to come out to others. A queer theoretical framework was used to explore how partners do outness. To address the needs of the literature, constructivist grounded theory methods were employed in analyzing the data. These findings showed that the majority of couples believed they had a "mutual understanding" of the rules and boundaries in place for relational visibility. In addition, the ways in which different individuals felt compelled to come out or stay in was impacted by their connection to the historical context of the Gay Rights movement. Clinical implications to help clinicians between in assessment and conceptualization in their work with members of the population were determined.
- Doctoral Dissertations