Title

Coming Out: The Career Management of One’s Sexual Identity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2016

Publication Source

Sexuality & Culture

Volume

20

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

336-357

DOI

10.1007/s12119-015-9325-y

Publisher

Springer New York LLC

ISBN/ISSN

10955143

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

The present study centers on interviews with 30 individuals, all of whom are engaged in coming out related to their sexualities. Among all of the themes shared across the interviews, one of the more prevalent dimensions was that of temporality. Participants shared numerous experiences (both directly and contextually) about how long coming out takes and whether or not it ever truly ends. Despite participants alluding to the point-in-time and processional nature of coming out, the broader experiences shared by participants uncovered an enduring reality—that coming out is a career. Building on the works of prior social scientists, this manuscript provides support for a redefinition of coming out as a perpetual endeavor based in the concurrent management of internal and external matters related to sexual identity formation and maintenance in a heteronormative society. More succinctly, coming out is not a process to be completed, but a career to be managed. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

Career; Coming out; Gay; Identity; LGBT studies; Sexuality

Disciplines

Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

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