Rejected by family for being gay or lesbian: Portrayals, perceptions, and resilience
Taylor and Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
A myriad of negative psychosocial outcomes face gay men and lesbians who experience rejection by their family for not being heterosexual. However, what constitutes rejection is not clear, and, more importantly, it is not known how resilience is fostered within such a context. This qualitative study sought to examine these issues by exploring the lived experiences of Australian gay men and lesbians who were previously or were currently experiencing family rejection because of their sexuality. A total of 21 in-depth, semistructured interviews were individually conducted and analyzed. Thematic analysis of the interviews revealed several themes that provided greater understanding of the portrayals and perceptions of family rejection; the impact of family rejection on mental health; and, importantly, how these individuals came to establish resilience in the face of experiencing family rejection. Limitations, directions for future research, and clinical implications of the findings are also discussed.