“Slowly by slowly makes the journeyâ€: Coming Out and Mental Health Amongst LGBTQ Rwandans Open Access

King, Adrian (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/hd76s096p?locale=en


Negative mental health outcomes among LGBTQ individuals remains a pressing issue with overall impacts on individual and community level health worldwide. Currently, there is a significant gap in research focusing on the mental health influences of the "Coming Out" process among LGBTQ individuals worldwide, but specifically in Kigali, Rwanda. This qualitative study utilizes in-depth interviews with "Out" LGBTQ Rwandans to understand the emic perspectives of participants and how the coming out process has affected their overall mental health. Analysis using grounded theory is utilized in developing the results of this study. The results of the study present evidence that there are various influences on mental health among this population with varying affects, both positive and negative, on mental health. Influences may provide insight into the causes of negative mental health outcomes among this population. Future outreach, advocacy, and health based programs and interventions should consider the coming out process and how it influences mental health among LGBTQ individuals in this population.

Table of Contents

Definition of Terms

Chapter 1: Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Phenomenon of Interest

Background and Justification

Deficiencies in the Evidence


Purpose of the Study

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Sexuality: A Brief History

Stigma, Homophobia & Discrimination

Coming Out

Mental Health Impacts

Research Question

Chapter 3: Methodology

Aim of the Study

Research Design

Study Site

Key Informant Interviews

In-Depth Interviews

Participant Recruitment

Data Analysis

Ethical Considerations


Chapter 4: Results

Demographic Characteristics

Results: How the Coming Out Process Influences Mental Health

Phase 1: Suppression of Sexuality

Phase 2: Denial of Sexuality or Identity

Phase 3: Same-Sex Sexual Debut

Phase 4: Clarification & Affirmation of Sexuality and/or Identity

Phase 5: Coming Out

Phase 6: Abuse & Discrimination

Phase 7: Self-Acceptance

Chapter 5: Discussion

Findings Conclusion



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