Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Coming out (Sexual orientation), Brothers and sisters, Gays-Family relationships, Sexual minorities-Family relationships, Qualitative research, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Sibling, Family, Coming out, Disclosure of sexual identity


The purpose of this study was to explore families in which there are more than one Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Queer identified sibling, specifically looking at the coming out process as influenced by another LGBQ sibling. Twelve semi-structured, exploratory interviews were conducted with six sibling sets, aimed at exploring the perceived impact of having a LGBQ sibling with regards to revealing one's sexual identity. All of the participants in this study reported experiencing some level of anxiety and/or fear before coming out, regardless of having an LGBQ sibling. The majority of participants in this study reported feeling closer to their LGBQ sibling after coming out. Of the six sibling participants in this study who came out first, all reported that they believed they made it easier for their sibling to come out. The majority of siblings who came out second (66%, n=4) claim that having a sibling who had already disclosed their LGBQ identity made it harder for them to come out themselves. For second siblings to come out, a common response in this study was fear and worry in anticipation that their parents would take it hard having not just one, but two gay identified children. Further findings regarding sibling aggregation of homosexuality, coming out, family response, and sibling relationship are discussed and compared to current relevant literature. This study concludes with a discussion of the limitations of this study, implications for social work and recommendations for future research.




iii, 75 pages. Thesis (M.S.W)--Smith College School fro Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-66)