A Be/Coming-Out Model: Assessing Factors of Resilience and Ambiguity

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Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, ISSN: 1053-8720, Vol: 27, Issue: 3, Page: 302-325

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Lake Dziengel
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences
article description
Sexual orientation, “coming out,” and the impacts of external stressors, resiliency, and losses remains an area not well understood. Being a sexual minority can result in ambiguous losses that potentially complicate established or formative resilience. These types of losses are largely overlooked and little research exists on how these loss(es) impact lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) populations (Boss, 2006). This article presents a “Be/Coming-Out” model to better assess and understand three interactive life dimensions: self-perceptions, social relationships, and society structures. The model depicts the ongoing and multilayered interactions, highlighting areas of resiliency and ambiguity, including potential risk factors and barriers to formation of resiliency behaviors. Discussion focuses on be/coming out as a lifelong process and applying the model as a tool in assessing individuals and couples levels of resiliency, as well as potential ambiguous losses related to sexual minority identity.