A Family's Coming Out Process: Systemic Change and Multiple Realities

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Abstract

The paucity of investigative studies exploring the coming out process of families was the impetus for this case study with a six member family-of-choice. In-depth interviews highlight the complexities of negotiating family rules, journey with the family as they struggled with their new identity, and reveal how the reflexive process contributed to the family's co-creation of new stories. The four themes that emerged (embracing gay identity, integrating as a family, building social networks, and social awakening), offer details of how the family reconfigured from the rubble of confusion to become more cohesive, awakened and empowered. Implications for clinical practice with families with gay members are addressed.

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