Family and friendship relationships after young women come out as bisexual or lesbian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To understand what happened when young women come out as bisexual or lesbian, 6 college-age bisexual or lesbian women who had recently come out, and 25 of their family members and friends, were interviewed about how the woman's coming out affected their relationships. Each was analyzed separately, using grounded theory coding techniques. The overall findings across the six relationships are presented here. Inductive qualitative analysis revealed changes in communication, relationship structure, and beliefs. Communication changes included talking about coming out, engaging in conflict, and asking questions of self and others. Changes in relationship structure included building community and negotiating closeness and distance. Changes in beliefs included testing one's own sexuality and changing one's mind about bisexual and homosexual people. Overall, coming out was embedded within the relationships and events of everyday life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-83
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 3 1999


  • Bisexual
  • Coming out
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Grounded theory
  • Lesbian
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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