Abstract. Disclosure of sexual orientation to family members
is one of the most difficult challenges lesbians and gay men face;
furthermore, coming out often changes several aspects within the family
system, as relationship dynamics, alliances, roles, expectations, and
boundaries may shift.
Previous research has mainly examined the
perspectives of urban and metropolitan dwelling family members when they
learn someone is gay or lesbian and neglected the unique experiences of
rural individuals. This study aims to explore changes that occur within
a family system after disclosure of sexual identity, specifically for
rural and nonmetropolitan lesbians through a qualitative approach.
Utilizing semi-structured interviews, genogram construction, and
grounded theory analysis, the author will identify the main themes that
arise in rural families once individuals reveal their status as a sexual