Ethnic/racial differences in the coming-out process of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: a comparison of sexual identity development over time

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2004 Aug;10(3):215-28. doi: 10.1037/1099-9809.10.3.215.


This longitudinal report of 145 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youths examined ethnic/racial differences in the coming-out process. No significant differences emerged in sexual developmental milestones, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, or sexual identity. However, Black youths reported involvement in fewer gay-related social activities, reported less comfort with others knowing their sexual identity, and disclosed that identity to fewer people than did White youths. Latino youths disclosed to fewer people than did White youths. Analyses of change indicated Black youths had greater increases in positive attitudes toward homosexuality and in certainty in their sexual identity over time than did White youths. These findings support the authors' hypothesis that cultural factors do not impede the formation of identity but may delay identity integration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bisexuality / ethnology*
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Black People / ethnology
  • Black People / psychology
  • Ethnicity / ethnology*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Female / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • New York City
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sexual Behavior / ethnology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • White People / ethnology
  • White People / psychology