Unique experiences of being gay and being a gay father
The first chapter of this thesis examines the factors that assist and impede disclosure of homosexuality. Factors have been divided into intrapersonal, interpersonal and societal/environmental categories for convenience of reporting. However, it is recognised that these factors do not exist in isolation of each other. The second chapter investigates the experience of gay fathers who have disclosed their homosexuality to their children. Analysis of interviews carried out with gay fathers suggests a model of disclosure where fathers achieve a realisation of their homosexuality followed by a desire to be honest about it. Fathers then disclosed their sexuality to their children. The effects on the child, on the father and on the father/child relationship are discussed. The impact of supportive others who are important in the lives of the father and children seem to be paramount to a successful outcome. Clinical implications of this study are discussed along with the study’s limitations and ideas for future research. The third chapter examines the experience of a gay man who became a father via donor insemination. Salient factors related to this method of fathering, being gay, and being later contacted by the child are discussed. The final chapter contains the authors’ reflections on a personal experience that impeded disclosure of his own homosexuality. The author entered reparative therapy holding the belief that he did not want to be gay. Following therapy failure, the author reached a position of self acceptance. Implications for clinicians are discussed.