Self-acceptance is a salient process for LGBT including gay people, to both explore one's identity and share that identity with others. It has been documented that self-acceptance has positive effects on psychological well-being of gay men. However, a question of what experiences gay men may encounter in the path to unconditioning self-acceptance still remains unanswered. Therefore, this qualitative preliminary study aimed to examine self-acceptance experiences of sexual orientation in gay men. Key informants were 5 gay men with high scores on the self-acceptance scale. Their age varied from 24 to 59 years old. They all were interviewed in person. The consensus qualitative research method was used to analyze the data. Findings revealed six main themes of self-acceptance: (1) Gay sense of self initiative, (2) Seeking for gay self affirmation (3) Encountering internalized homophobia and social prejudice (4) Experiencing difficulties in gay self-disclosure to family (5) Recognizing and Developing gay sense of self, and (6) Fully self-accepting being gay. The findings were consistent with Cass's model of homosexual identity development and have considerable implication for psychological and counseling services trying to understand and enhance well-being of gay men.
Keywords: gay men, self-acceptance, sexual orientation
Phakphoom Decha-ananwong, Chularlongkorn University, Thailand
This paper is part of the ACP2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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