OUT OF THE CLOSET: DISCLOSURE OF LGBT YOUTH EXPERIENCES
Keywords:LGBT youth, disclosure, acceptance, family support, coping mechanisms, homophobic bullying
Coming out in the open for LGBT youth is one of the most challenging parts of their journey. Disclosure of gender preference in family, school and community can lead to either acceptance or rejection. The study sought to describe the challenges experienced by LGBT youth in ISU-Cauayan City, to determine the responses of their family, school and community and how the responses affected LGBT youth in terms of academic performance. Likewise, it also described the coping mechanisms of LGBT youth in the process. The researcher used a qualitative research design through an in-depth interview and utilizing the focus group discussion as a means of eliciting responses. Thematic analysis was used and responses where coded and clustered according to their inherent meaning that respondents gave them where emerging clusters or themes formed an idea of an experiences, responses and coping mechanisms of LGBT youth. The researcher unveiled the challenges experienced by LGBT youth such as family acceptance, family rejection, homophobic bullying and discrimination. Results of the study showed that most of the respondents received positive and affirming responses from family, school and community while only few received negative feedback. Findings of the study likewise indicated that experiences of LGBT youth affected their academic performance in a positive way. Participants revealed that they used these coping mechanisms for their survival as they received support coming from LGBT friends and learned to ignore negative reactions. Data indicated that nowadays acceptance of LGBT youth is continuously increasing and becoming more acceptable in the society.