Coming Out of the Closet

2272 Words10 Pages
Coming Out “Coming out” is a means of identifying one’s sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. At its most basic, “coming out of the closet,” means being honest with those around you—friends, family, colleagues, and so forth—about your sexual orientation, about whom you are. It also means acknowledging one’s sexual orientation to self. Such disclosure is an ongoing, lifelong process rather than a one-time event. New personal, social, and professional situations require gay men and lesbians to make decisions about the degree to which they can be open about their sexual orientation (Morrow, 1996). Sexual orientation is one of the four components of sexuality and is distinguished by an enduring, emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectionate attraction to individuals of a particular gender (Bailey and Bobrow, 1995). According to Bohan (1996), the other components of sexuality are biological sex, gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female) and social sex role (adherence to cultural norms for feminine and masculine behavior). There are three sexual orientations that are commonly recognized: homosexual, attraction to individuals of one’s own gender; heterosexual, attraction to individuals of the other gender; or bisexual, attractions to members of either gender. Persons with homosexual orientation are referred to as gay (men or women) or lesbians (women only). At the start of the 1960s homosexuality was referred to as primarily a private affair, supported by the universal belief that homosexuality was a disease or a sin. The majority of Americans indicated that homosexuals were considered harmful to American life. A fear, dislike, hatred, or prejudice of gay men and lesbians, known as homop... ... middle of paper ... ... by a Biopsychologist. Journal of Psychology and Theology. 24, Gelberg, S. and Chojnacki, J. (1996). Career and Life Planning with Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Persons. Alexandra, VA: ACA. Harrison, D., Thyer, B., and Wodarski, J. (1996). Social Work Practice with Gay Men, Lesbian Women, and Bisexual Individuals. Cultural Diversity and Social Work Practice. Springfield. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd. 232-252. Jamal, K. and Bowie, N. (1995). Theoretical Consideration for a Meaningful Code of Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics. 14, 703-714. Kornblum, W. (1995). Sociology. Harcourt: Brace Publishers. Mc Naught, B. (1997). Now That I’m Out What Do I Do. New York: St. Martin’s press. 1st Edition. 5-50. Morrow, D. (1996). Coming-Out Issues for Adult Lesbians: A Group Intervention. Journal of Social Work, 41 (6).
Open Document