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Daniel Alberto A. Brasil danielalbertoas gmail. Considering the new perspectives on male and female homosexuality and the coming out process, the aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of young Brazilian homosexuals about the coming out on the family relationships. This is a study of multiple cases supported by the qualitative research approach. Eight homosexuals five gays and three lesbians were interviewed, with an average age of 26 years old. The interviews were submitted to content analysis, in which were constructed a posteriori, highlighting similarities and differences between the cases.

In front of coming out process in a heterosexist context, the individual can make this event a moment of silence and shame, as well as deal with guilt. Family and friends constituted the main support network in front of homosexual disclosure, considered fundamental after coming out. For centuries, homosexuality has been seen as sin, perversion, deviation, disease and crime.

Nowadays, it is possible to observe a greater plurality in the ways of expressing sexuality with respect to both affective and sexual intimacy relationships. With the processes of industrialization, socioeconomic development and urbanization in the second half of the 20th century, lesbian and gay identities gained representativeness in their structuring throughout the West, including Brazil. Thus, it is important to highlight the process of social construction of the homosexual movement and the way in which struggles and rights have been seeking spaces in the middle of the 20th century to the present day Molina, According to Conde , social movements in the s, such as feminism and sexual liberation movements, boosted the homosexual movement, which started to fight for its rights before the State and for distancing itself from preconceived notions related to Church.

In Brazil, in the late s and early s, during the military regime, gay social movements marked history in search of not only visibility, but also civil rights and full citizenship. With the end of the military regime, cultural optimism arose, aiming at a new, more egalitarian, fair and democratic moment, even in relation to the expression of homosexualities Conde, ; Franco ; Molina, From this framework, several courses and groups for the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases STDs, which are now called STIs - Sexually Transmitted Infections were created, as well as emphasizing the importance of education as the best form of prevention and guidance, forcing society to discuss sexuality Facchini, ; Ferrari, ; Franco, Although many rights have been achieved by this population in Brazil since then, such as adoption by same-sex couples and civil marriage, there are still prejudices that have persisted since the last century.

Even with the greater diversity in the ways of expressing sexuality in contemporary times, coming out - public disclosure of one's sexual orientation - is a process that can be very difficult for some, due to the way that homosexuals are still seen in Latin American society. In the present study, our focus will be on the coming out process. This reflects the values and thoughts of society about homosexuality that are organized to characterize it negatively. Gender studies aim to problematize the heteronormative and essentialist perspective by proposing a solution to the dilemma of the binary sex-gender system according to which gender would be determined by the body, by the biological apparatus, and gender as something socially and culturally constructed.

For Butler , the fundamental problem would lie in the fact that, by associating gender as a natural datum and gender as culturally constructed datum, we would produce a notion of gender as an essence of the individual. This intelligibility would produce certain situational gender performances that present themselves as the modulation of gender identifications based on the binary model of man and woman.

The definitions of homosexuality and sexual orientation would also be influenced by these conceptions, promoting their plastering and framing. These repercussions of coming out have also been explored in the scientific literature in its interface with the health of this population, notably young adults Perucchi et al. Based on such understandings, it is possible to reflect on the elements that make disclosure more difficult and how to overcome them, as well as on the consequences that this process can bring. Based on this panorama, the aim of the present study was to investigate the perceptions of young homosexuals in Brazil about the process of disclosure of the sexual orientation in the family context.

It is a qualitative multiple case study Yin, The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the institution of origin of the first two authors. According to Brazilian legislation, this study was based on Resolution No. Eight homosexuals of both genders, aged between 18 and 39 years old, were interviewed, who revealed to their family members their homosexual sexual orientation.

The average age was 26 years. In the composition of the sample, we opted for the inclusion of young adults who had other members also participating in the research fathers, mothers and siblings and reporting the repercussions of the process. Thus, eight families participated in the largest study, and for the present study, only the narratives of young homosexual adults were analyzed, prioritizing the voices of the focal individuals. For data collection, a semi-structured interview was used, applying a script with questions about the objectives of the study.

Data collection. The research started after approval by the Research Ethics Committee of the institution of origin of the authors. On these occasions, the objectives of the study and the terms of the work were explained. Those interested in participating voluntarily read the Free and Informed Consent Form FICF of the research and, being in agreement, interviews with possible participants were scheduled.

Data collection was carried out through interviews. This method prioritizes the expansion of the theme, establishing, in different contexts, the common aspects and the particularities of each interview. The individual interviews took place in the Psychology school-service to which the authors were linked and were carried out face to face, on dates and times ly agreed with the participants. A cis researcher, heterosexual, conducted all interviews, who had already carried out investigations on this topic, having social repertoires in relation to both the subject in question and experience in conducting this type of interview.

Before conducting the interview, the participants confirmed their consent by ing the Free and Informed Consent Form. It was also considered the fact that, even though there was no risk in participating in the research, some contents covered could provide some type of psychological discomfort. If this happened, the possibility for these participants to talk to the responsible researcher, who is also a psychotherapist, was made available. No participant requested any kind of assistance or follow-up after the interview. The interviews were audio-recorded, with the participant's consent, and transcribed in full and in its entirety for later analysis, composing the corpus.

Data analysis. The interviews were coded through content analysis Bardin, , composed of research techniques that systematically grant the description of messages and attitudes related to the statement, as well as inferences about the data collected. This codification occurred first in each interview, producing based on the meanings brought by each participant and, in a second moment, using the totality of the interviews, to identify similarities and differences in the reports to support the discussion. Two independent researchers carried out this coding process, which was reviewed by a third judge, the research advisor.

Content analysis produced a posteriori , that is, revealing movements and meanings from the respondents' statements. In this section, first the data for characterization of the sample and presentation of cases will be brought. Subsequently, the constructed a posteriori from the analytical process described in the Method will be discussed, which resulted in two main : a Experiences of homosexuality itself and its possible consequences and b The coming out process and the support networks. In characterizing the participants, fictitious names were used. The ages ranged from 22 to 34 years, with two being married and six being single, as can be seen in Table 1 , which also brings data about religion and ethnicity.

When talking about feelings the before coming out, the participants pointed out several difficulties and negative emotions, such as suffering, fear, guilt, frustration, insecurity and the fear that the closest people would walk away if they knew about their sexual orientation.

Gisele reported that her greatest difficulties during the disclosure process occurred when she was faced with the fact that she was attracted to people of the same sex - which was not expected by herself. Bruno said that, despite having a good relationship with his father, who lives in another city, he did not tell him about his homosexuality, because he depended on him financially and was afraid of losing that support. Pedro also depends financially on his father and, even though he knows about his sexual orientation, he does not take his boyfriend home, for fear of causing conflicts. For Marina, on the other hand, one of the main factors that caused her fear to come out was the prejudice against homosexuals in her professional environment.

It is noted that the coming out caused sensations such as "relief" and "freedom", as the participants no longer had to hide their sexual orientation, nor had to disclose sexual identities that did not represent them. On the other hand, in some cases, respondents reported negative emotions when coming out. In addition, some respondents had to deal with the fact that family members did not immediately welcome the news of homosexuality, which will be reported below.

According to the participants, most of the people with whom they lived had a positive reaction to the disclosure. Arthur expresses that he exchanged frustration, fear and insecurity for peace and security, because he had the support of his family, the religious community he was part of and the school where he studied. Marina also noted that her family members approached her after the coming out, fearing that she would go into depression in the face of the process. Gisele even thought about leaving home, as she was finding difficulties in family relationships.

When she made the decision to go and live alone, her mother started to accept and living at home got better. Stigmatized individuals are exposed to threats to their self-esteem. Some social institutions some families and schools, segments of the church and the state and some mass media occasionally manifest stereotypes that homosexuals are inferior and have moral defects. This discovery occurs when the individual realizes that he does not fit many of the characteristics that he should have, according to heteronormative and sexist family and social precepts.

Men, for example, are expected to be strong, do not cry, be interested in women, have children to continue the surname, among other attributes and actions Costa et al. Due to the fear of family and social rejection, supposedly a consequence of the act of "coming out", many young people are afraid to do so, which can cause emotional damage that will drag on for a lifetime - such as depression, anxiety, not being able to maintain stable and healthy relationships, having a risky sex life, among others -, profoundly marking the subjectivity, considering that disclosure is seen as liberating Lomando et al.

Where's the boyfriend girlfriend? In addition, such questions can be experienced as violence both in the face of the process of outness and the possible option to be silent in the face of social expectations built in relation to the sexual orientation of these young people. Arthur, for example, experienced this, he had his outness still in his childhood, in a period whose taboo about homosexuality was even greater compared to the present day; by Bruno, who expected a negative reaction from his family to the disclosure; and by Marina, who feared being stigmatized in the professional field.

The concealment of homosexuality becomes, over time, an increasingly difficult and painful task Soliva et al. This factor contributes to making the so-called coming out of the closet so liberating, in some cases.

This is the case of Bruno, for example, who did not tell his father about his homosexuality for fear of not receiving his financial support. This statement reinforces the idea that the fear of causing negative reactions to the disclosure and consequently suffering losses le some to hide their sexual orientation. The feeling of guilt after outness was another aspect pointed out in the data collection. Given the current situation, learning and internalization of the negative meanings associated with homosexuality and the transgression of gender roles persist, which is called internalized prejudice.

Because there is a strong and harmful stereotype of homosexuals in society, there is a tendency for members of the LGBTQ community to take them for themselves, producing negative feelings about their own identity, such as guilt for experiencing same-sex desires Antunes et al. Thus, it is highlighted that the difficulties of these young people accepting themselves are not only due to elements of their own subjectivity and the relationships established in the family microcosm, but to the way in which the social imaginary about homosexuality is constructed, perpetuated and transmitted in the most diverse aspects of socialization.

According to a survey by Delgado et al. The disclosure of homosexuality causes changes in the patterns of family interaction because the individual no longer needs to hide. The existence of family secrets tensions relationships, plaster spontaneity and creates barriers for the secret to be kept, causing distance between its members and the perpetuation of interdictions in relation to sexuality Lomando et al.

Thus, in some of the cases, the way of treating the individual was changed, changing the family dynamics, whether seeking to open up more, offering support, among other changes, as reported by Bruno and Marina, for example. It is noted, from these cases, that the family seeks to restructure itself in the face of the coming out of one of its members, with adjustments that can be more or less conscious and promote greater or lesser well-being on the part of these young adults.

As the family is commonly seen as a place of safety and affection, having it as a social support network may be the most expected and desired by homosexuals in view of the disclosure of their sexual orientation Perucchi et al. It is noted that it is common for the family to react negatively to the homosexual child's coming out process, responding to the disclosure with emotions such as shame, anger, sadness and fear, in addition to exerting psychological or even physical violence on the individual.

Such reactions are usually caused by different factors, such as the influence of the heteronormative social model, the fear of the individual being marginalized and stigmatized, or the fact of not knowing how to deal with the strangeness of having a family member with same-sex partners, before reaching, in certain situations, the acceptance of the homosexual relative Cadieux et al.

The cases of Arthur, Pedro, Sofia, Gisele and Marina, for example, show resistance on the part of some of their family members regarding the acceptance of sexual orientation. Such resistances may have different outcomes in each case, which must also be monitored over time, allowing these families to better assimilate the process and build their own intelligibilities about the homosexuality of one of their members. Thus, it is reinforced that the social support promoted by the family can contribute to outcomes considered more adaptive, favoring that the acceptance of the coming out process promotes greater proximity between members, an important indicator for the mental health of these individuals and consequent experience of sexuality in a less fragmented way.

From the cases discussed in the present study, difficulties were identified on the part of homosexual individuals in dealing with their own sexual orientation and with the coming out process, considering the social models of expression of sexuality established.

Thus, some end up choosing to hide their condition, being deprived of expressing their own subjectivity, which could allow them to experience their own sexuality as it really is, without having to repress what they feel. Regarding the homosexual support network, such as family and friends, the homosexuals interviewed reported that there was an improvement in their life in situations where there was acceptance by this network.

They also became less afraid, experiencing daily life with less guilt and anguish, in a more integrated and health-promoting experience. Thus, the importance of the support network for these individuals in the coming out process is reinforced. Although the family cannot always be considered a protective instance par excellence, its potential for welcoming these individuals in moments of greater emotional mobilization is reinforced, as represented by the sharing of the coming out. The fact that the collection was carried out in just one meeting may have inhibited other data and experiences from being mentioned in the interviews.

It is suggested to carry out new studies to expand the interviewees' statements about how they experience themselves in the process of outness and coming out, as well as interviewing the network of these participants to also know their surroundings. With new research in this context, new perspectives can be discussed, so that issues related to homosexuality are clarified so that, thus, the taboos that still exist can be deconstructed, operating a movement of greater acceptance, greater care and, consequently, greater protection of these young people in the face of this important identity process.

Antunes, R. Psychologica , 39 , Bardin, L. Beals, K. Stigma management and well-being: The role of perceived social support, emotional processing, and suppression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 35 7 , Brito, R. Desenvolvimento humano e redes de apoio social e afetivo. Carvalho Ed. Butler, J.

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