• Assim Alpaslan Department of Social Work, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Theresa Johnston Social Worker, Child Protection Unit, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
  • Veonna Goliath Department of Social Development Professions, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.


Coming out of the closet, that is, identifying or labelling oneself publicly as gay or lesbian, isone of the most difficult and potentially traumatic experiences a gay/lesbian person canundertake (Woog, 1997). For many gays/lesbians this process is a journey which starts at thefirst awareness of being different from others. It then follows the route of coming out to oneself– labelling oneself as gay/lesbian – and finally letting others know of one’s sexual orientation.A large amount of the gay/lesbian person’s energy goes into deciding where, when, how and towhom he/she will disclose his/her sexual orientation. They are greatly concerned about thepossible risks and consequences of “coming out” to significant others (Moses, 1986:80).


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How to Cite
Alpaslan, A., Johnston, T., & Goliath, V. (2014). PARENTS’ EXPERIENCES REGARDING THE COMING-OUT PROCESS OF A GAY OR LESBIAN CHILD. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 45(1).