On the other side: supporting sexual minority students
AbstractThis paper examines aspects of coming out as a gay or lesbian person through the models of identity development presented in the literature as well as presenting some findings from face-to-face in-depth interviews conducted with young people telling us what it is like to grow up and identify oneself as gay. The coming out process is set in the context of theory, recent legislative changes and media representations and it is argued to be a key point at which counsellors and other helpers can intervene. An argument is made for moving away from the linear models presented in the academic literature and a new framework, the RAC model (realisation, activation and consolidation), is offered for understanding this process. The article identifies how counsellors and others involved more widely in the welfare of young people can best intervene in both an individual and holistic manner.