A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF GAY MEN COMING OUT WHILE IN COLLEGE
1 online resource (148 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This research was conducted to explore the phenomenological essence of gay men who choose to come out while in college. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with self-identified gay men, ranging in age from 18-23 years old, who reported that they had come out while in college. Using a phenomenological approach, this research sought to explore the following research question: What are the lived experiences of gay men who came out while in college? To help organize the experiences of the participants, the following sub-questions were used to help guide the research: 1) What factors inhibited participants from coming out pre-college? 2) What factors inhibited and enabled coming their out while in college? 3) What are the factors specific to the collegiate environment enabled or supported their coming out? The results of this study indicated that the participants did not factor in their impending coming out into their choice of college. The factors that inhibited the participants from coming out before college were: 1) lack of LGB social support, 2) faith based concerns, 3) concern regarding familial response, and 4) security in perceived heterosexual identity. Both supportive and inhibiting factors were found that influenced the participants’ coming out while in college. Identified supportive factors were: 1) welcoming campus environment, 2) public examples of gay relationships, 3) possessing a masculine disposition, 4) increased use of technology, 5) desire to help others come out, and 6) a believed change in public perception about coming out. Identified inhibiting factors were: 1) LGB as a hidden population, 2) being involved in non-public relationships, and 3) security in possessing a perceived heterosexual identify. Lastly, the results of this study indicated that gay men who came out while in college chose not to be involved in campus LGB student organizations in favor of integrated social advocacy organizations.
Wierzalis, EdwardHarris, Henry
Furr, SusanLim, Jae HoonRhodes, Theresa
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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