By Rick Clemons for YourTango. Every time a new state recognizes gay marriage, my coming out coaching practice gets inundated with calls. It seems the more that people recognize that love is love, the more gay people feel safe to come out of the closet. However, what is surprising about these calls is that they do not come from millennials; mostly, they are from the Gen X and baby boomer generations. These generations grew up in a time of don't ask, don't tell, and they hid in underground clubs and meeting spaces. They lived dual lives to a greater extent than a Millennial could ever imagine.
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As a neuroscientist, I am fascinated by mental health, consciousness and perception, as well as the psychology behind human relationships. Coming out can be an extremely scary process for many people. Many are unlucky enough to have been born into highly religious or abusive families, and run a real risk of being kicked out of their home or physically harmed. However, there is another possible narrative that's rarely explored in gay movies or in the news: it is possible to live in a completely gay-friendly, liberal city and still feel psychologically-unable to come out. You may be terrified that your friends will view you differently and your world will be flipped upside-down; there is also often the colossal fear that, upon declaring you're gay, your same-sex friends will think you're attracted to them. In this article, I will address this very real, rarely-confronted problem: the fear of coming out due to psychological barriers that you've created , and not from any 'real' threat.
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However, many people have really positive experiences coming out and often regret not doing it sooner. What may be right for one person, may not be right for you. Your safety and well-being should always come first.
After years of fighting off rumors about his sexuality, Latin singer Ricky Martin has finally just posted the following message on his official Web site , coming out and telling the world he is gay. Coming out as gay, lesbian bisexual or transgendered is a process that for many, is experienced in stages of change. While there are different models and theories about coming out, the six-step process The Model of Homosexuality Identity Formation was created by psychological theorist Vivienne Cass in and is still an accepted model for understanding the experience. While many will not experience these steps in a linear course, the following steps capture essential components of the coming out process. These steps are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and can be experienced simultaneously.