Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type



Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Name

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Lisa Powell

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Lisa Merchant

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Joanna Méndez-Pounds


This study will explore the effects of coming out in a non-supportive family. The coming out process is when an individual discloses their sexual identity to another person. Coming out can be a wonderful experience for some or a negative life-changing moment. This interpretive phenomenological study examined the patterns and themes found through four extensive interviews. The four participants recruited through social media and flyers participated in an interview where they were asked questions about their coming out experience. The minor common themes were experiences by three out of the four participants. These minor common themes were failed parenting, coming out tests, sexual orientation as a lifestyle, and fear. While this study was focused on the negative effects of coming out, there were three positive effects: happiness, pride, and freedom. This study will be used in future research and to help guide the field forward when it comes to helping LGBTQ+ individuals.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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