Lesbi-honest

Mangalus, M. (2016). Lesbi-honest: Coming Out Revelation Risk Assessment of Lesbians and Other Woman-Loving Women, Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This study looks into the coming out experiences of Filipino lesbians and other woman- loving women in the context of pre- and present lesbian-feminist activism in the Philippines. Coming out entails not only the disclosure mechanisms employed by the individual but also risk assessment, goals, and communication efficacy as proposed by Afifi and Steuber’s (2009) Revelation Risk Model (RRM). By situating the experiences within the period of lesbian-feminist activism, the study sheds light onto how existing conceptions of female homosexuality inform individuals’ coming out (or lack thereof). Through focus interviews with 13 lesbians and other woman-loving women, the study uncovers both direct and indirect ways in which these women came out, which include child-initiated and parent-initiated coming out. The interviews also reveal that some informants and their parents perceived a lack of necessity to come out. The findings show that perceived parental reaction informs the women’s risk assessment and perceived confidence. Furthermore, the study also uncovers several Filipino family values that either facilitated or hindered the coming out of these women, such as close family ties, a sense of respect for and obligation to parents, and the high-context nature of communication. Informants’ awareness of LGBT+ organizations, mostly through media, also played a role in their decision to come out.

Keywords: lesbians, woman-loving women, coming out, lesbian-feminist activism, risk assessment

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