Description: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how LGB college students created meaning out of their coming out process to their parents. I recruited LGB college students who perceived support from their parents during their coming out process and asked the following research question: What are the lived experiences of LGB college students who have experienced support from their parents during the coming out process? Seven White (n = 4), African American (n = 2), and Hispanic (n = 1) college students, three men and four women aged 18-24 years, shared narratives that included time periods before, during, and after their coming out disclosures to their parents. Using an adapted phenomenological analysis, I identified nine major themes: awareness of feeling different, positive relationship with parents prior to coming out, college impacting the coming out process, feeling unsure of how parents would respond to disclosure, parents assuring continued loved and acceptance, parents affirming LGB identity, increased relational depth with parents, increased sense of authenticity, and an appreciation for family's response and support. The findings provide insight into how counselors might work most beneficially with LGB college students and their parents around the coming out process. Opportunities for future research and limitations of the study are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Price, Eric W