Coming out experiences and psychological distress of Chinese homosexual men in Hong Kong
Wong, C-yan.; Tang, C.So-kum.
Archives of Sexual Behavior 33(2): 149-157
ISSN/ISBN: 0004-0002 PMID: 15146147 DOI: 10.1023/b:aseb.0000014329.00994.b6
This study adopted a cognitive-behavioral conceptual framework based on the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) in understanding coming out experiences and psychological distress of 187 Chinese gay men. Results showed that participants' coming out experiences were characterized by same-sex sexual fantasy at teenage years, followed by awareness of homosexual tendency, same-sex sexual contact, and then self-identification and disclosure of homosexual orientation in young adulthood. Regarding targets of disclosure, participants tended to disclose their sexual orientation to their gay friends first, followed by heterosexual friends, siblings, parents, and coworkers. This study also supported the extension of the TRA conceptual framework to Chinese societies. Results showed that a low level of psychological distress in Chinese gay men was linked to their coming out experiences, which were in turn related to TRA components of involvement and identification with gay communities and positive attitudes toward coming out. Limitations and implications were also discussed.