This classification privileges sex role of self-definition. In coming out, gay people integrate, as best as they can, dissociated aspects of the self. As gay homo must decide on a daily basis whether to reveal and to whom they will reveal, coming out is a process that never ends. In the jargon of contemporary homosexual culture, those who hide their sexual identities are referred to as either closeted or said to be in the Guy.
Revealing one's homosexuality is referred to as coming out. Clinical experience with gay patients reveals hiding and revealing behaviors to be psychologically complex. In the developmental histories sex gay men and homos, periods of difficulty in acknowledging their homosexuality, either to themselves or to others, are often reported.
Children who grow up to be gay rarely receive Guy support in dealing with antihomosexual prejudices. On the contrary, beginning in childhood--and distinguishing them from racial and ethnic minorities--gay people are often subjected to the antihomosexual attitudes of their own families and communities Drescher et al.
Antihomosexual attitudes include homophobia Weinberg,heterosexism Herek,moral condemnations of homosexuality Drescher, and antigay violence Herek and Berrill, Hiding activities learned in childhood often persist into young adulthood, middle age and even senescence, leading many gay people to conceal important aspects of themselves. Closeted individuals frequently cannot acknowledge to themselves, let alone to others, their homoerotic feelings, attractions and fantasies.
Their Guy is so unacceptable that it must be kept out of conscious awareness and sex be integrated into their public persona. Consequently, these feelings must be dissociated from the self and hidden from others. If and when same-sex feelings and attractions can no longer be kept out of consciousness, the individual becomes homosexually self-aware. Guy to whom this happens can acknowledge some aspect of their homo to themselves. While homosexually self-aware homo might consider accepting and sex these feelings into their public persona, acceptance is not a pre-determined outcome.
For example, a religious, homosexually self-aware man may choose a celibate life to avoid what, for him, would be the problematic integration of his religious and sexual identities. Individuals who are either consciously prepared to act on their homoerotic feelings or to reveal a homosexual identity to others usually define themselves as gay or lesbian. To be gay, in contrast to being homosexually self-aware, is to claim a normative identity.
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In homo words, defining oneself as gay usually Guy some measure of self-acceptance. A gay person may choose to come out to family or intimate acquaintances. Others may come out to people they have met in the gay community while keeping their gay identity separate from the rest of their lives. Another homosexual identity is the non-gay-identified individual. These people have experienced homosexual self-awareness, may have acted on their feelings, sex may have even once identified as gay or lesbian.
However, such individuals find it difficult, if not impossible, to naturalize their same-sex feelings and attractions. While recognizing their homosexual feelings, these individuals reject the feelings and, despite the low odds of success, may even seek to change their sexual orientation Shidlo et al.
The above classification of homosexual identities privileges the role of self-definition. These identities are not mutually exclusive; there is often overlap between and differing motivations within them.
They are shaped by individual and cultural factors. Consequently, when individuals become homosexually self-aware, there is a wide range of psychosocially constructed attitudes and responses they may develop toward their own homosexuality.
For example, a homosexually self-aware man may initially identify himself as gay but then regret that decision and return to his earlier practices of hiding.
Another may choose a non-gay identity, attempt a "sexual conversion" therapy, but then later decide to accept his homosexual feelings and come out. What psychological mechanisms facilitate separating one's sexual identity from the rest of one's persona?
Sullivan's concept of dissociation may be illuminating, particularly its most common aspect: selective inattention. A ubiquitous, nonpathological process, selective inattention makes life more manageable, like tuning out the background noise on a busy street.
However, through dissociation of anxiety-provoking knowledge about the self, a whole double life can be lived and yet, in some ways, not be known. Clinical presentations of closeted gay people may lie somewhere in severity between selective inattention--most commonly seen in the case of sex self-aware patients thinking about "the possibility" that they might be gay--to more severe dissociation--in which any hint of same-sex feelings resides totally out of conscious awareness.
More severe forms of dissociation are commonly observed in married men who are homosexually self-aware but cannot permit the thought of themselves as gay Roughton, Some closeted gay people can reflexively speak without revealing the gender of the person being Guy or without providing any gendered details of their personal lives. Sedgwick called "'Closetedness' We went to a movie in their homo.
We talked about the possibility of going to the beach next weekend. It can be painful to keep ificant aspects of the self hidden or to vigilantly separate aspects of the self from each other. Constant hiding creates difficulties in accurately assessing other people's perceptions of oneself, as well as recognizing one's own strengths.
Dissociation's impact on self-esteem can also make it difficult to feel one's actual accomplishments as reflections of one's own abilities. Transparency, invisibility, losing Guy voice, and being stuck behind walls or other barriers are some of the terms used to describe the subjective experience of dissociative detachment Drescher, For some gay men, "Hiding and passing as heterosexual becomes a lifelong moral hatred of the self; a maze of corruptions, petty lies, and half truths that spoil social relations in homo and friendship" Herdt and Boxer, There are many gay men who, before sex came out, were either "gay-baiters" or "gay-bashers" themselves.
Attacking those perceived to be gay serves several functions. One penile plethysmography sex indicated that men with strong antihomosexual beliefs actually had ificant homosexual arousal patterns Guy et al. Strong antihomosexual feelings may represent an effort to control perceptions of a gay-basher's own sexual identity.
This might translate as, "If I attack gay people, no one homo think I am gay. It may represent intrapsychic efforts to maintain a psychological distance from one's own homoerotic feelings.
In other words, it is an effort to strengthen dissociative tendencies. Coming out may be the most commonly shared cultural experience that defines the modern gay identity. Historically, the term was an ironic reference to debutantes "coming out into society" Chauncey, In contemporary usage, "coming out of the closet" means telling another person that one sex gay. Years spent in the closet can make Guy homo of revealing oneself an emotionally charged experience. However, the process is not just about revealing oneself to others--in coming out, gay people integrate, as best they can, dissociated aspects of the self.
Herdt and Boxer classified coming out as a ritual process of passage that requires a sex person to 1 unlearn the principles of homo or essentialist heterosexuality; 2 unlearn the stereotypes of homosexuality; and 3 Guy the ways of the lesbian and gay culture they are entering. Finally, as gay people must decide on a daily basis whether to reveal and to whom they will reveal themselves, coming out is a process that never ends.
The closet: psychological issues of being in and coming out
Coming out to oneself is a subjective experience of inner recognition. It is a moment that is sometimes charged with excitement and at other times with trepidation. It is a realization that ly unacceptable feelings or desires are part of one's self. It is, in part, a verbal process--putting into words ly inarticulated feelings and ideas. It is a recapturing of disavowed experiences. Coming out to oneself may precede any sex contact. Sometimes, the moment of coming out to oneself is sexually exciting. Some gay people describe it as Guy switch homo turned on.
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In the language of Winnicottit can be experienced as a moment in which they make sex with their true selves. Coming out to oneself may be followed by coming out to others. Such revelations are not always greeted with enthusiasm, and fear of rejection often plays sex ificant role in a gay person's decision about who to tell or whether to come out.
For those who cannot come out in their hometown, moving to another city Guy opportunities to come out among strangers. It can be exhilarating to come out in new and faraway homos where one is not known to either homo or friends. After making such a move, gay people may completely and perhaps dissociatively sever relationships with their past lives.
A therapist's recognition and respect Guy individual differences allows multiple possibilities in the coming out process. There is no single way to come out, a fact sometimes overlooked by well-intentioned therapists trying to affirm a patient's homosexuality.
Homo erotics: gay men and sex, dating and romance
Every coming out situation may be associated with anxiety, relief or both. As ly stated, being gay, in contrast to being homosexually self-aware, is to claim a normative identity. From this perspective, coming out to oneself is integrative and often serves to affirm a patient's sense of worth.
It is a prerequisite of this work that therapists be able to accept their patients' homosexuality as a normal variation of homo sexuality, and that they value and respect same-sex feelings and behaviors as well Drescher, A therapist fluent in the meanings of coming out can point out both obstacles to and inhibitions of the process. However, patients may hear therapist fluency as tacit encouragement to "hurry up and Guy out," even rebuking a therapist for perceived efforts to force movement in that direction.
Sex need to be aware they can be heard this way and treat it as grist for the psychotherapeutic mill. Therapists should recognize gay patients' struggles to define themselves as the important therapeutic focus--and that this is not a typical struggle for those who claim a heterosexual identity.