The phases of coming out
I thought that we could build the coming-out and the LGBTQ+ more realistically in phases that the process starts in childhood. I have many friends who are gay, lesbian and bi. Therefore I will take gay and lesbian as an example for the possible stages in Paralives:
to have felt a sense of being “different” at a very early age. What exactly constitutes this difference can usually not yet be described in more concrete terms at this time. It is unconsciously perceived that the whole environment is heterosexually oriented, that homosexuality does not occur or is devalued and that this could have something to do with the own feeling of being different.
Phase of the inner coming out:
The beginning of the inner coming out is characterized by a more conscious perception of one’s own longings and feelings. They feel that they are more attracted to their own sex and at the same time perceive that this makes them different from others.
Phase of self-acceptance:
They’re usually looking for information, positive identification models and finally also encounters with other lesbians and gays. This makes it possible to perceive oneself in a new way, to check one’s own ideas against reality and to be able to consider and implement a gay or lesbian life more concretely. During this time, external support is particularly valuable: information about same-sex lifestyles. The more the inner acceptance grows, the sooner attempts are made to make contact with other lesbians and gays. As the inner acceptance of one’s own identity grows, positive feelings of liberation and relief up to euphoria about having finally found oneself are created.
Phase of the outer coming out:
The question arises as to who can be told about it, where one’s own sexuality may be known. Good reactions from family and friends, in turn, promote positive handling of the coming out. Being able to show your identity to the outside world and receive positive feedback has a strengthening effect on a positive self-perception and enables a comprehensive good identification with their own sexuality.