“Mom, I’m gay.” Homosexual language used in the coming out process and its effect on the family relationship
Ramón, Erika K.
MetadataShow full item record
Communication between homosexuals and heterosexuals has been examined by communication scholars since the gay revolution of the 1970’s. Communication scholars have sought to understand how homosexuals communicate with one another and heterosexuals. The current study examined the language used by homosexuals during the coming out process and the affect that language has on the family relationship after learning of a family member’s homosexuality. Participants included (38) homosexual students and faculty who attended a midsize university in the southern Midwest, as well as they were sought through other means (word of mouth from students, Facebook) and they completed an online survey. Results indicate that homosexuals converge their language to a heterosexual language when coming out to their parents. Use of heterosexual language and disclosure of homosexuality increased satisfaction within the family relationship. Also, relational communication about coming out was positively correlated with the relationship satisfaction of the family. Social penetration theory, communication privacy management theory, communication accommodation theory, and uncertainty reduction theory were utilized as a theoretical framework. Findings of this study suggest further attention should be given to homosexual language and the usage of it in communication with others. In addition, this study adds to the research on homosexuals by looking at how language impacts satisfaction with the family relationship.
"A thesis in communication submitted to the graduate faculty of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts."