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Pat Tetreault, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Student Involvement
Director, LGBTQA Resource Center
346 Nebraska Union
LGBTQA Resource Center
346 Nebraska Union
You may have also seen LGB, GLBT, GLT, LGBTQQIIAP, etc. We are called the LGBTQA Resource Center, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally. For a definition of these terms and others, please click here.
What Does Intersex Mean?
"Answers to Your Questions About Individuals With Intersex Condition" by the American Psychological Association.
What is Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality?"Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality" by the American Psychological Association
Coming out is an ongoing process. Once a LGBTQ person “comes out” to him or herself, the next steps involve letting others know. Others may include one’s family members, friends, employers, co-workers, health care professionals, etc. This is a life-long process requiring an ongoing commitment and choices faced every day about who to tell...
- Make a coming out plan
- The decision to tell :
- What people say or don’t say when LGBTQA issues come up are clues
- Are you well-informed about LGBTQA Issues?
- Common myths & misperceptions
- Do you know what you want to say?
- Do you have support?
- Is this a good time?
- Can you be patient?
- Living openly is the ongoing phase after you've talked with people important to you about your life as a LGBTQ person and are able to tell new people that come into your life fluidly, when and where it feels appropriate.
- Coming out hopes and expectations
- Acknowledgement of your feelings
- Common responses to having someone come out
- Don’t assume prejudice
- Provide resources
- You can’t always predict how someone will respond
- Be aware that every person has their own story
- Be aware of diversity within the LGBTQ community; unique challenges for different populations
- Exiting Heterosexual identity
- Developing a personal LGB identity status
- Developing a LGB social identity
- Becoming a LGB offspring
- Developing a LGB Intimacy status
- Entering a LGB community
The Cass Model
- Identity Confusion: Am I “Gay”?
- Hypersexual &/or anti-LGBTQA bias
- Seek information to find out
- Identity Comparison: “I May be “Gay”.
- Identity Tolerance: What does being “gay” mean? I want to find out about the community.
- Identity Acceptance: I accept I am“gay”.
- Identity Pride: I AM GAY!
- Identity Synthesis: Being “Gay” is part of who I am as a person
The coming out process affects LGBTQA people as well as friends, family, and allies. Family members, friends, and allies also have their own coming out process as they learn about and process that they have a LGBTQA friend or family member. LGBTQA identity becomes integrated with other aspects of self as just one identity for this person.
- Think before you speak; respond don’t react.
- Appreciate that coming out is a challenge and the person is taking a risk. You can thank the person for trusting you enough to tell you.
- Questions you can ask:
- How long have you known you are gay?
- Has it been difficult to carry this secret?
- Is there some way I can help?
- Have I ever knowingly offended you?
- Respect confidentiality: Don’t assume it’s okay to tell other people
The process for family, friends, and allies:
- Learning a loved one is LGBTQ:
- Who is s/he really?
- S/he can’t be gay
- S/he isn’t gay
- S/he is gay
- I accept s/he is gay
- I still care about her/him
- I will support her/him
- Coming out to others as family, friend, or ALLY of an LGBTQ person
- Gender Variant
- Newly Transitioned
- There is no one path or time line for transition.
- Personal comfort zone may be at questioning or gender variant.