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LGBTQ is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. It has been in use since the late 1990s and is a later modification of the acronym LGBT, which replaced the 'derogatory' Gay term used to refer to the LGBT group. According to LGBT activists, the label "Gay community" does not truly represent all orientations that feel themselves different from the conventional heterosexual. A majority of gender identity-based community centers in the United States and other English-speaking nations later adopted the term LGBTQ. The term Gay refers to a man who is sexually attracted to another man. A lesbian is a woman who has a sexual attraction to another woman. Bisexual identifies an individual sexually attracted to both genders. A Transgender is an individual expressing a sexual character that differs from his or her initially assigned sex. The word Queer refers to the sexual and gender minorities neither heterosexual nor cisgender.

As demonstrated in the definition, the LGBTQ community is considered as a deviation from conventional sexual orientation (Heterosexual). As the psychologist, Sigmund Freud asserts that members of the LGBTQ are born deterministic and that in some, the propensity to be full blown exists although in some it is occasioned by external factors though later, the tendency readjusts to normal (Vaughan, 2014). Moreover, he felt that certain orientations trends can be deeply rooted forms of pronounced LGBTQ which would be difficult or impossible to change (Vaughan, et, al' 2014). The LGBTQ members have always struggled with severe psychological challenges starting from self-awareness, denial, anger and ultimate self-awareness. Many theories are advanced on the genesis of homosexuality with some ascribing it to genetic propensities as Zurbriggen explains that, for a sexual tendency to be so ingrained in an individual's personality, it can only be so through genetic reasons (Zurbriggen, 2017).

However, there exist theories that associate much of the LGBTQ orientations to environmental factors, that individuals are impacted by the society they live in to assume a specific sexual orientation as opposed to another. As Verkuyten elaborates, people living in communities with prevalently high rates of moral decadence are likely to adopt strange carnal desires that could be hard to reverse (Verkuyten, 2017). Moreover, he affirms that those hard to change sexual tendencies make it difficult for an individual to ever self-disclose to their friends or family.

Disclosure is the last step of their self-discovery is still the challenging one since it involves a decision to either accept one's self but live as a straight person or come out clean to family and friends. The later choice demands a lot of courage and resolve since it exposes one to the adverse effects of stigma and societal disassociation that comes with such confidential disclosures. This paper will treat the various references and analyze how several authors have addressed this issue of self-disclosure to the family and friends and the challenges involved in it.

Key terms

Self-awareness – being cognizant of one's true identity.

Disclosure – revealing critical information or details that are only known by self to others.

Stigma – a disgraceful feeling associated with revealing one's identity or a character.

Prejudice – an erroneous opinion not based on credible or authentic knowledge or experience.

Homophobia – a feeling of hatred, fear of, or resentment directed towards any member of the LGBTQ community.

Sexual orientation - the determination of one's position in designating their sexual preferences

Annotated bibliography

Snapp, S. D., Watson, R. J., Russell, S. T., Diaz, R. M., & Ryan, C. (2015). Social support networks for LGBT young adults: Low cost strategies for positive adjustment. Family Relations, 64(3), 420-430.

The main agenda in this book is the existing structures within the community that support or make it easier for the LGBTQ community to blend into the society without stigma. The authors took it upon themselves to conduct research and interviews in major cities in the US and other major countries around the world. They concentrated on the prejudices, ideologies, and misconceptions that jeopardize their acceptance and how some of the communities have also adapted to this reality. Their primary hypothesis was that many societies have not fully accepted the fact that there exist other sexual orientations other than the conventional straight one. The researchers had to interview several groups of ordinary people and also renowned and influential personalities in the field.

They were able to conclude that it's not always the case that people do not acknowledge that the LGBTQ community exists but that the public acceptance of them would incur retributions on their part. Most influential people in the community were could not publicly accept realities because they either had popular votes to score or public ratings to maintain. However, the most striking discovery by the authors is how the religious institutions dealt with the issue. Torn in between loving and caring for all their flock regardless their weaknesses or nature and also ascribing to the socially acceptable norms was quite a challenge. However, some religious groups had set up social networking platforms such as social groups and church-based community activities that engaged all people regardless their differences within the community. That cold social reception of the LGBTQ community within the society goes a long way adding into the challenges of the same people.

This book goes a long way into identifying the underlying societal ideologies and perception facing this community and how instituting socially based activities that are Christian based can work towards creating a platform for interaction and demystifying of the grey areas surrounding those individuals. By these analyses, the authors open the public to the challenges facing the LGBTQ individuals. Moreover, they begin platforms for the scientific researchers to delve more into the human social interaction behaviors and how opinions and misguided ideologies can influence one's thinking and actions.

This book improves on the knowledge about the psychology of coming out within the LGBTQ community since it highlights the societal elements possible of causing stigma to the individuals willing to come out. It further offers in-depth insight into how societies can be restructured to provide networking platforms for comfortable interactions.

Baiocco, R., Fontanesi, L., Santamaria, F., Ioverno, S., Marasco, B., Baumgartner, E., ...Laghi, F. (2015). Negative parental responses to coming out and family functioning in a sample of lesbian and gay young adults. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(5), 1490-1500.

The authors of this book wrote it in response to the negative challenges that rocked most young adults' after coming out and disclosing their sexual orientations to their families. The authors set out to analyze the various forms of negative parental responses that most members of this community go through once they decide to come out. Their major hypothesis was that truth about one's sexual orientation is not always socially acceptable to the community especially if it goes contrary to the conventional expectations. They set out to gather such data be interviewing several parents and young adults from the wealthy earning families on their responses. The interviews were mainly Yes or No with some exceptions to when the parents would be asked to give their own opinion.

In the course of their research the authors discovered that even though much of the responses were negative, the degree of their negativity varied. Parents from wealthy backgrounds were more susceptible to adverse negative opinions about their children being LGBTQ. Their worries mainly centered on how the community would perceive them. Most of the wealthy people were either politicians or people commanding mutual respect, and therefore any speck of disconformity in their ranks would be a topic worth mudslinging on them. That reality also translated to the kids from wealthy backgrounds, in as much as they could not disclose themselves or associate with others of the same community in fear of losing their prestige, most of them have been threatened with possible disinheritance by their parents. Those findings go along way into listing the challenges that the young adults from wealthy families go through in their attempt to disclosure. The psychological warfare in those fields is more of an intimidation one, the young adults though never physically compelled to change their orientation, they are in effect forced to by the dire repercussions that come with not doing so.

This book further opens the forum for the scientific researchers to identify to what extent parental opinion and validation can affect a young person's independence and self-awareness and disclosure. The role of parents and their shadowing might be established to identify the patterns of behavior that relate to such circumstances.

This book has expanded efficiently the scientific knowledge of this topic be presenting the statistics on the various parental responses to matters LGBTQ. It has offered more detailed views that have indicated that wealthy parents are more prone to adverse reactions that average or low-income parents. Such knowledge is fundamental in pointing to the society which cluster of young people are more vulnerable to stigma and which is less susceptible.

Eaton, A. A., & Rios, D. (2017). Social challenges faced by queer Latino college men: Navigating negative responses to coming out in a double minority sample of emerging adults. Cultural diversity and ethnic minority psychology, 23(4), 457.

The background of this book is based on the social challenges faced by young adults of different ethnic groups and races in their efforts to come out. The authors of this book endeavored to investigate if race or one's ethnicity impacted on the overall reception of a person seeking full disclosure of his sexual orientation.

Their central hypothesis was that race and ethnicity are the main contributors to sexual stigmatism within most young adults in many social institutions of learning or communities. To research on this, they interacted with several students for different colleges, individuals who were of different races and ethnic groups and compared their findings with the results they gathered from members of the same race and ethnic groups.

In their findings, they discovered that there were more cases of adverse stigmatism within students of the same ethnic group than those from without. That was occasioned by the fact that the student perceived the other individuals from the same category as indicating a possible notion that people from that ethnic group were susceptible to such an orientation. Many feared that it would lead to the racial generalization. Comparing these statistics with those from different groups, the discoveries indicated that the people from either race for instance Latinos were rarely affected by stigma in disclosing their orientation to their non-Latino friends, they felt some sense of individuality.

These findings go along way into highlighting the friendship networks or communal setups that can foster an easy disclosure or ones that cannot. The critical focus is the psychological effect on a disclosing member of the LGBTQ, and as the discoveries indicate, there is a more negative reception from members of the same race and ethnic community as it is from those of without. This book further widens the psychological knowledge of understanding how rather than there being the profound security within members of a given race or ethnic group there is instead more stigma.

This book has dramatically increased the knowledge on this topic by pointing out the race and ethnic-based prejudices that derail the course to coming out of several LGBTQ members. It has managed efficiently to also indicate the common negative responses in members of the same race and those from without.

McConnell, E. A., Clifford, A., Korpak, A. K., Phillips II, G., &Birkett, M. (2017). Identity, victimization, and support: Facebook experiences and mental health among LGBTQ youth. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 237-244.

This book was authored as a response to the debilitating effects of social media bullying and intimidation that has in the past and present led many young adults to mental despair and unfortunate suicide. The authors investigated the extent to which social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter among the rest, have affected the possible coming out of the LGBTQ members. They hypothesized that social media though meant to be an interactive platform transformed to be a platform of intimidation and stigmatization for these people who don't subscribe to the popular trends. They discovered that most of the people turn to social media as a platform that would make their worlds better by creating a forum of interaction, however they end up disclosing intimate details that cannot have social acceptance within the forum. That scenario opens them to predation by bullies and other homophobic people.

This research relates to the topic since it tackles the modern issues affecting the young people (social media mania) and how the popular trends in it hamper the possibilities of one coming out. The mental intimidation, name-calling, and disdain perpetuated within the platform is sufficient torture that would rescind a resolve to disclose one's orientation. The research further indicates how popular social trends affect the behavior patterns of both straight and LGBTQ members.

This book has significantly contributed to this topic by identifying the place and impact of social media on the LGBTQ disclosures. It has identified the patterns of behavior considerably within the platforms that primary appears to be safe zones for members of this community to interact and disclose their orientations only to turn around and be the unfortunate sources of stigma. It sensitizes the young adults on deciding which information is private and which can be safely shared out on these platforms without repercussions

Kite, M. E., & Bryant-Lees, K. B. (2016). Historical and contemporary attitudes toward homosexuality. Teaching of Psychology, 43(2), 164-170.

This book was authored as a response to the social prevalent attitudes and perceptions that significantly impact on the coming out, living free and acceptance of the LGBTQ members. The authors investigated the different cultural beliefs from a historical perspective and how they have shaped the contemporary views on homosexuality. Their hypothesis was culture, and its related tenets have a substantial impact on the acceptance of the LGBTQ members.

Their discoveries were that; in most cultures, such orientations are abhorred and sanctioned. Cultures shape peoples personalities and opinions. Therefore it is hard to change a cultural viewpoint. Moreover, some cultures especially those that are not strictly conservative were open to the idea that people can have different orientations and that their opinions would be more accommodative than homophobic.

This research relates to the topic since it illustrates how different cultures and beliefs can hamper one resolve to come out and disclose his or her orientation. Culture is an aspect of the human person that cannot be disassociated from self, and hence there is need to create more dialogue on means to resolving this impasse

This book efficiently increases the knowledge of this topic by presenting the impacts caused by cultural beliefs and norms. It further illustrates the statistics of how people of a given community however literate can be influenced by their cultural biases to judging that which is indifferent (regarding matters sexual orientation, as unconventional and abhorred).

Shortcomings of the analysis in the listed references

Although the book authored by Snapp deals with the social networking platforms that support the coming out of the LGBTQ community, it failed to address what the communities can do to promote a mental change by inculcating ideas that would lead to a social reconstruction. A social ideological revamp in necessary to create a secure forum for disclosure.

Baiocco in his book did substantial work in analyzing the parental responses to the LGBTQ disclosures of their children. However, it only compared statistics from families of a wealthy background and not across the board to include middle and low-income families. Hence their analysis may not be thorough or conclusive.

Eaton’s book articulates and analyzes the complications surrounding young adults of different races and ethnic groups within college centers. However, it also fails to compare those statistics with adults of the same race and ethnic groups.

The book by McConnell critically analyses the social media effects on the coming out of the same sex community, but it fails to give alternatives to the social media that the young LGBTQ members can interact in without suffering the effects of stigma before, during or after disclosure.

In his book, Kite researches thoroughly on the impact of culture on the contemporary views and opinions prevalent against the LGBTQ members. However, his book fails to identify ways through which these entrenched cultural; beliefs and content can be resolved to create room for acceptance of this community members before, during and after disclosure.

Relevance of the topic to the LGBTQ daily lives

Coming out is a very substantial issue within the LGBTQ community. It entails the final resolve to live freely and in the open in consonance with one self-sense and true identity. However, living in communities that are significantly impacted by social, cultural, popular and fashionable trends than the drive to disclose becomes impeded. The most significant challenge is the psychological warfare that one goes through before, during and after disclosure of their orientation. The issue may seem mundane to those who don't have this daily struggle, but for an individual LGBTQ member, it is their everyday life, fears, and conflict.

Possible Suggestions for research

Having gone through the details analyzed by the different authors in the various books, it's vivid that much has to be done to change the ideological setups of the societies we live. As evidenced in the analysis of the various books; much of the stigma is precipitated by cultural, popular and conservative trends prevalent in the community. Those problems raise the crucial questions on what can be done to change the mindsets of the people towards accepting, accommodating or tolerating members of different sexual orientations. To curb these, I would indulge in more research on ways that the modern communities would be channeled into productive training that would lead to shifts in ideological paradigms. Such changes in mental perceptions would make the ordinary people more acceptable to the LGBTQ as opposed to the phobia that spreads around.

Another question that arises is the how the communities can legislate more stringent laws that can deter online buying and intimidation. Although there exists freedom of speech as guaranteed in many constitutions, there is need to have limits to how far in content and actions can free speech extend. More research needs to be undertaken on the various ways of balancing the fundamentals of freedom while still deterring their abuses.

Another question would be how institutions of learning such as colleges and universities can implement programs, well incorporated into their learning curriculum to aid desensitization and demystification of matters LGBTQ. As the analysis on the books illustrated previously indicate, most of the challenges that young adults face while deciding whether to come out or not is precipitated by ignorance of many of their friends and family. Learning systems have to be adapted to addressing this issue so that students are sensitized on the need to be tolerant and accommodating not only to the LGBTQ Community to anyone different from them.


Baiocco, R., Fontanesi, L., Santamaria, F., Ioverno, S., Marasco, B., Baumgartner, E., ...Laghi, F. (2015). Negative parental responses to coming out and family functioning in a sample of lesbian and gay young adults. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(5), 1490-1500.

Eaton, A. A., & Rios, D. (2017). Social challenges faced by queer Latino college men: Navigating negative responses to coming out in a double minority sample of emerging adults. Cultural diversity and ethnic minority psychology, 23(4), 457.

Kite, M. E., & Bryant-Lees, K. B. (2016). Historical and contemporary attitudes toward homosexuality. Teaching of Psychology, 43(2), 164-170.

McConnell, E. A., Clifford, A., Korpak, A. K., Phillips II, G., &Birkett, M. (2017). Identity, victimization, and support: Facebook experiences and mental health among LGBTQ youth. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 237-244.

Snapp, S. D., Watson, R. J., Russell, S. T., Diaz, R. M., & Ryan, C. (2015). Social support networks for LGBT young adults: Low cost strategies for positive adjustment. Family Relations, 64(3), 420-430.

Vaughan, M. D., & Rodriguez, E. M. (2014). LGBT strengths: Incorporating positive psychology into theory, research, training, and practice. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1(4), 325.

Verkuyten, M., &Yogeeswaran, K. (2017). The Social Psychology of Intergroup Toleration: A Roadmap for Theory and Research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21(1), 72-96.

Zurbriggen, E. L. (2017). Gender, Sexuality, and Psychology: History, Theory, Debates, and New Directions. Feminism & Psychology, 40, 120.

April 26, 2023


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