Parent reactions to sexual and gender identity disclosure events in the deep south

Claire Estep, Jessica Hafetz Mirman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parental reactions to sexual and gender identity disclosures are known to be related to queer children and adolescents’ mental health and psychosocial adjustment. An improved understanding of how and why parents react how they do, in conjunction with their perceptions of how the coming out process unfolded can inform our understanding of how a young person’s coming out is experienced by parents in the broader context of the family. A clearer understanding is especially important for families located in historically sociopolitically conservative geographic areas because these parents might be at highest risk for a maladaptive reactions to coming out, subjected to homophobic legislation and cultural pressures, and because families from these areas are less represented in the literature. In the current qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of queer children and adolescents living in the Deep South. Results illuminate a highly heterogenious experience and provide an initial roadmap, via the articulation of a conceptual model, to guide further research with families in this context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalLGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Early online date24 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2022


  • coming out
  • Deep South
  • queer youth
  • parenting
  • qualitative research


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